US CBP AMO Thwarts Narcotics Smuggling Attempt in Northern Puerto Rico

Marine Interdiction Agents of US Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO), intercepted today a vessel with three men from the Dominican Republic transporting 723 pounds (328 kilos) of cocaine, north of Loiza, Puerto Rico.  The estimated value of the seized narcotics is approximately $7.9 million.

“Transnational Criminal Organizations try to introduce their illicit contraband to Puerto Rico from every maritime direction,” stated Creighton Skeen, Acting Director of Air and Marine Operations at the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB). “AMO leverages its resources, technology, and maritime domain awareness to be able to intercept these incursions throughout the island.”

A CAMB Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) crew detected a Yola-type vessel with two outboard engines travelling south towards Puerto Rico, with visible bales and three occupants onboard.  The MEA maintained surveillance of the vessel coordinating with the crews of two Coastal Interceptor vessels to intercept. 

The Marine Interdiction Agents stopped a gray and blue, 24’ Eduardoño type homemade yola, with three occupants on board.   The agents boarded the vessel approximately 10 nautical miles north of Loiza, arresting three adult males, who claimed to be from the Dominican Republic, and found ten (10) bales of suspected cocaine. The tested contraband was positive to the properties of cocaine.