Eight men were arrested December 11, 2021, in St. Thomas, USVI for smuggling 26 kilograms of cocaine. .
US Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) air patrol detected four jet skis traveling from Culebra, PR towards St. Thomas, USVI. CBP-AMO air patrol surveilled the jet skis, each operated by a sole occupant, as they approached the west side of St. Thomas. Air patrol watched as the skis made way to the beach at Mermaid’s Chair where they were met by four individuals in a red Jeep Wrangler. CBP-AMO officers saw duffle bags being loaded on to the skis, and the skis quickly leaving towards Culebra, PR. CBP-AMO law enforcement vessels pursued the four jet skis towards Culebra, PR.
One driver drove his ski on to a Culebra, PR beach and fled on foot. He escaped capture. A duffle bag was recovered near the abandoned ski. Inside the duffle bag, officers recovered 26 packages which contained a substance that field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine. A third suspect was able to evade capture by splitting off in a different direction from the other skis. Two other operators, Gozalez and Carrasquillosanto, were apprehended. Gozales, a former Puerto Rican Police officer, was followed by CBP-AMO air patrol. His position was relayed to CBP-AMO officers on the water who detained Gozalez while still on a ski. Carrasquillosanto was seen by Puerto Rican Police Forces loading a black and purple jet ski onto a trailer at a nearby marina. He was shown a picture taken by CBP-AMO air patrol which depicted the operator of the purple and black jet ski wearing the same clothes as Carrasquillosanto. Carrasquillosanto admitted to being one of the operators of a ski that was seen at Mermaid’s Chair in St. Thomas.
DEA, CBP, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents stopped the red Jeep Wrangler that loaded the duffle bags on to the jet skis as it was leaving Botany Bay Preserve. Esteban Rafael Borrome Diaz (the driver), Wilfredo Ricardo Vazquez Lopez, Jonathan Fernandez Montesino, Smarling Villilo De Los Santo, Emmanuel Rodriguez Rodriguez, and Guillermo Morales were all detained. A Glock pistol was seen in plain view inside the rear pocket of the driver’s seat where Vazquez Lopez was seated. Another Glock pistol without a serial number was located in the center console.