US Coast Guard offloads US$5.6 million in seized cocaine, transfers custody of three suspected smugglers in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo: US Coast Guard

The crew of the US Coast Guard fast response cutter Donald Horsley offloaded approximately 150 kilograms of seized cocaine and transferred custody of three suspected smugglers to federal law enforcement authorities at Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Saturday, June 13.

The seized drug shipment is estimated to have a wholesale value of more than US$5.6 million.

The three men apprehended remain in US custody facing criminal charges for drug smuggling.

The interdiction was the result of ongoing efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF). Prosecution is being led by the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Puerto Rico.

The interdiction and seizure occurred during a patrol the night (local time) of June 8 when the crew of a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspect go-fast vessel with three people aboard, approximately 50 nautical miles southwest of Isla Saona, Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan directed the launch of an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft to acquire the location of the go-fast and diverted the fast response cutter Winslow Griesser to carry out the interdiction.

Once on scene, an over-the-horizon cutter boat crew deployed by Winslow Griesser boat stopped the go-fast and recovered three bales from the water near the suspect vessel. The recovered bales tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately 150 kilograms.

The detainees and seized contraband were transferred to Donald Horsley for transport to Sector San Juan. Donald Horsley‘s crew then offloaded the contraband and disembarked the suspected smugglers in coordination with CBP officers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and CCSF special agents in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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