2,210 Pounds of Cocaine Seized from Port of San Juan
MAY 07 -- SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Teamwork between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and the San Juan Police Department (SJPD) have led to the seizure of more than 2,210 pounds of cocaine and 27 pounds of heroin during routine inspections of cargo ships entering the Port of San Juan since March 24, 2009. The street value of the seized cocaine is estimated at over $24 million U.S. dollars.
“DEA’s close cooperation with their DHS, Dominican, and Puerto Rican state and local partners prevented this large amount of cocaine and heroin from reaching local communities, the continental United States, and other cities around the world,” said Javier F. Peña, DEA’s Caribbean Division Special Agent in Charge. “DEA will continue sharing our expertise and resources to curtail the use of the Port of San Juan as a transshipment and distribution point of illegal drugs,” said Peña.
“Through these seizures, we are sending a clear message that the Port of San Juan will not be a safe haven for criminals looking to ship drugs into Puerto Rico and the United States,” said Roberto Escobar-Vargas, acting Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. “ICE is committed to working with its federal and local partners to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into San Juan.”
“We will continue to inspect cargo that comes into San Juan and find any and all illegal substances contained therein,” said Marcelino Borges, Director of the CBP Office of Field Operation in Puerto Rico. “This is a great illustration of the dividends that are paid by having law enforcement working together in the United States ’ ports of entry every day.”
On March 30, DEA special agents, ICE special agents, CBP officers, PRPD and SJPD officers inspected cargo from the Motor Vessel Joh Gorthon, which had arrived in San Juan from the Dominican Republic on March 24. During the inspection, the officers discovered that one of the cargo flatbeds had a false floor which contained 160 brick-shaped packages of cocaine and 13 brick-shaped packages of heroin.
On April 8, DEA Agents, ICE agents, CBP officers, PRPD and SJPD officers discovered 49 brick-shaped packages of cocaine during an inspection of shipping containers from the Motor Vessel Caribbean Express, which also arrived in San Juan from the Dominican Republic.
DEA Agents, ICE agents, CBP officers, PRPD and SJPD officers found more than 1600 pounds of cocaine on April 30, during a routine inspection of shipping containers from the Motor Vessel Nicea, which arrived in San Juan from the Dominican Republic on April 24.