US Coast Guard seizes cocaine haul in Caribbean Sea

Image: Ricardo Castrodad, US Coast Guard District 7
Image: Ricardo Castrodad, US Coast Guard District 7

The US Coast Guard has apprehended three suspected drug smugglers and seized 900 kilograms of cocaine following an at-sea interdiction in the Caribbean Sea south of Puerto Rico.

The Dominican, Colombian and Venezuelan nationals are in custody in Puerto Rico, where they are facing prosecution.

During the night of March 1, the crew of a CBP patrol aircraft from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) detected a suspicious 9.1-metre go-fast vessel with visible packages on deck transiting without navigational lights, 50 nautical miles south of Ponce.

The 46.9-metre Coast Guard cutter Donald Horsley was diverted to intercept the suspect vessel and CAMB also responded.

Donald Horsley arrived on scene and interdicted the go-fast, detained the suspected smugglers and seized multiple bales of contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.

This interdiction was the result of ongoing, multi-agency federal law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).

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