US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized Friday 2262 pounds (1026 kilos) of cocaine from a vessel attempting to reach the coast of Humacao, Puerto Rico. The estimated street value of the contraband is $23.5 million.
“This is the second successful interdiction in the last two weekends,” stated Augusto Reyes, Director of Air and Marine Operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “Air and Marine Operations agents are determined to detect and intercept any attempts to smuggle contraband to our shores.”
On the evening of Jan. 20, the crew of an AMO Jacksonville-based Multi Role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) detected a vessel with two outboard engines and approximately three persons on board moving north towards the southeastern coast of the island.
The MEA crew-maintained surveillance of the vessel assisting Fajardo based Coastal Interceptor Vessel crews to interdict the suspect vessel south of city of Humacao.
Inside the vessel agents found total of 36 bales of contraband and arrested two non-citizens from the Dominican Republic and one non-citizen from Colombia.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcment Administration (DEA) took custody of the contraband and the individuals for investigation and prosecution.
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior.