1.4 Tons of Cocaine Seized
May 25 (San Juan, PR) – In the early hours of May 21, 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Branch (CBP), seized 1,288 kilograms of cocaine packaged in 50 large bales.
The DEA, the crew of the USCG Cutter Sapelo, and CBP’s DASH-8 Air Unit detected a suspicious go-fast vessel while patrolling Caribbean international waters. The USCG Cutter Sapelo engaged to intercept the go-fast which fled the area at a high rate of speed.
CBP DASH-8 Air Unit observed four men aboard the go-fast boat throwing suspicious objects overboard. The USCG Cutter Sapelo returned to the area where the cargo was thrown overboard and conducted an extensive two-day search, with the assistance of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, in which 50 bales were recovered. Each bale contained approximately 25 kilograms of cocaine for a total weight of 1,288 kilograms of cocaine.
“This massive seizure of 1.4 tons of cocaine is a clear indication of the hard work and dedication that the DEA, the U.S. Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police Department and Customs and Border Protection have in combining our resources,” said Drug Enforcement Administration, Caribbean Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Pedro Janer. “We will continue to stop these groups who think they can smuggle narcotics into Puerto Rico with flagrant disregard of our enforcement capabilities and our laws.”
“The outstanding efforts and collaboration between all law enforcement authorities are responsible for this successful disruption and seizure, which prevented a major drug shipment from reaching our shores,” said Coast Guard Captain Drew Pearson, Sector San Juan commander.
“This interdiction is part of CBP's continued effort to work with fellow federal, state, local, and international partners to combat individuals and criminal organizations that pose a threat to our communities,” indicated Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations for CBP’s Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.The DEA Caribbean Division would like to extend its gratitude to the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs & Border Protection, DEA St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Island Police Department – Blue Lightening for their incredible support and assistance.