US Coast Guard offloads US$12 million in seized cocaine in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo: US Coast Guard/Ricardo Castrodad

The US Coast Guard transferred custody of two suspected smugglers and 430 kilograms of seized cocaine to federal law enforcement authorities at Sector San Juan on Wednesday, August 5, following the interdiction of a drug smuggling go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea.

The interdiction was the result of multi-agency efforts in support of US Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF). The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution for this case.

The estimated wholesale value of the seized drug shipment is more than US$12 million.

The interdiction occurred on the afternoon (local time) of August 2 following the detection of a suspicious go-fast vessel, with two people aboard, by the crew of a US maritime patrol aircraft. The coast guard fast response cutter (FRC) Richard Dixon responded to the sighting and interdicted the go-fast with the assistance of the cutter’s small boat.

Richard Dixon‘s boarding team located 21 bales of suspected contraband that the smugglers attempted to conceal with a blue tarp.

The boarding team placed the two men in custody and embarked them aboard the cutter along with the seized contraband.

The seized cocaine, destined for the United States, and two detainees were later transferred to the FRC Joseph Napier and transported to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where CCSF federal law enforcement agents received custody.

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