Coast Guard Seizes 750 Kilograms of Cocaine
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - On August 10, 2004, United States Coast Guard (USCG) Cutter CUSHING, stationed at the Greater Antilles Section in San Juan, PR intercepted a 41’ Canadian Sailboat identified as “La Gabriela” in international waters. After obtaining authorization form the Canadian authorities, a USCG Boarding Team discovered 750 kilograms of cocaine (gross weight) concealed in the vessel. The four Canadian crewmembers were transferred to the CGC CUSHING and the vessel was towed to the port of San Juan, PR. The crewmembers and contraband were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Caribbean Division. The individuals aboard the vessel were later identified as Luc NORMANDIN, Nancy DUMONT, Carl NORMANDIN and Kelly RODRIQUE.
On August 13, 2004, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, filed a complaint against crewmembers based on violations of Title 46, United States Code, Appendix, Sections 1903( c ) (1) ( C ) and 1903 (a), conspiring to knowingly, intentionally, and unlawfully possess with the intent to distribute approximately 750 kilograms (gross weight) of cocaine, a Schedule II Controlled Substance. The defendants appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Camille L. Velez-Rive who ordered their temporary detention without bail and remanded the defendants to the custody of the United States Marshal pending a preliminary hearing.
On August 19, 2004 a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment formally charging the individuals with violations of United States Maritime Drug Laws. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial and the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.