U.S. Customs Nabs Cocaine Smugglers Off The Coast Of Culebra
FAJARDO, Puerto Rico – The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says its Air and Marine Operations (AMO) seized 93 pounds (42 kilos) of cocaine after intercepting a 25 foot-vessel about six nautical miles in Caribbean waters and arresting two men onboard.
CBP estimated the street value of the cocaine to be about $1.2 million.
“We leverage our assets and work with all our partners to intercept smuggling attempts such as this one,” said Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations at the CBP Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
CBP said a Marine Patrol Aircraft (MPA) detected a vessel about two nautical miles northwest of Culebra Islands, off Puerto Rico, traveling westbound without navigation lights. The vessel was described as a 25 foot-center console with twin outboard engines, and two people aboard.
A law enforcement response was coordinated between CBP, U.S. Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police Department FURA Marine Units, the statement said.
It said that, as marine units reached the vessel, “the suspects jettisoned several packages and attempted to abscond.
Last week, CBP said AMO and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized 86 pounds (39 kilos) of cocaine, worth $1 million, concealed inside the hull of a 26 foot-boat in Fajardo.
CBP said agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA)-led Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) assumed custody of the boat and contraband for further investigation and prosecution.