Customs and Maritime Operations Agents (AMO) agents from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found 475 pounds (215.5 kilos) of cocaine hidden inside a boat being pulled from the water in Las Croabas on Sunday. The estimated value is $4.3 million.
“Our agents continue to intercept illegal people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigate criminal networks and use their knowledge of the air and maritime environment,” said Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
On May 8, Maritime Interdiction Agents conducted a ground patrol at the Las Croabas public boat ramp in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Officers inspected the occupants of a boat that was being pulled out of the water using a truck and trailer. During the inspection, one of the occupants admitted to illegally entering the United States from the Dominican Republic and the captain of the vessel admitted to returning from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and failing to report his entry to CBP.
AMO agents requested the assistance of a Puerto Rico Police canine, who alerted to the presence of an odor that is trained to detect.
Agents inspected the vessel and found a hidden compartment containing 202 bricks of a powdered white substance that tested positive for the properties of cocaine.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents took custody of the vessel’s three crew members and smuggled them for investigation and prosecution.
AMO safeguards our nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our maritime and aviation law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.