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News Release
November 17, 2006

Two Charged in Connection with Seizure of 9 Tons of Cocaine

Seized cocaine
Seized cocaine.

NOV 17 -- Mark Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rear Admiral Jody Breckenridge, Commander 11th Coast Guard District, U.S. Coast Guard, and Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, announced that Javier Hernandez Rodriguez, and Juan Alfonso Robles-Esparza, were charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum term of life imprisonment.

This case resulted from the October 20, 2006, seizure of approximately 9 tons of cocaine. On that day, the United States Navy ship USS Thach, while on routine patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, sighted the fishing vessel Calipso V in international waters, flying the Costa Rican flag. The USS Thach with an embarked U.S. Coast Guard boarding team, was operating under the tactical command of the 11th Coast Guard District. The Coast Guard 11th District Command Center contacted the Government of Costa Rica and obtained permission to board and inspect the vessel. On the Calipso V, the boarding team discovered approximately 389 bales containing multiple kilograms of cocaine, and 8 individual kilograms of cocaine. In total, approximately 9 tons of cocaine was seized, one of the largest narcotics seizures on board a vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard identified the crew, which included four Costa Rican nationals. The Government of Costa Rica has retained jurisdiction over these four nationals. Also on board were defendants Javier Hernandez-Rodriguez, a Colombian national, and Juan Alfonso Robles, a Mexican national.

Mr. Acosta commended the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their work on this case.

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