USCG Interdict Vessel Attempting to Smuggle 551 Pounds of Cocaine into Western Puerto Rico

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and the US Coast Guard team up to interdict Wednesday a “yola” type vessel with three occupants transporting 551 pounds (250 kilos) of cocaine south of the coast of Cabo Rojo. The estimated value is approximately $ 5.2 million.

“Transnational criminal organizations are relentless in attempting to smuggle contraband,” Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “AMO agents are committed to use all our capabilities to interdict them throughout our coastal areas.”

On June 29, a CBP Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) was launched to conduct a Border Security Patrol. Near midnight the MEA crew detected a “yola” type vessel navigating north towards Cabo Rojo.

The CBP MEA crew kept surveillance of the vessel to assist the US Coast Guard cutter Joseph Doyle to intercept.

The Coast Guard crew found 3 people on board, one Venezuelan national, and two Dominican Republic nationals along with seven and a half bales with bricks of suspected cocaine. The bricks had a white powdery substance which tested positive for the properties of cocaine.

On Monday June 27, Air and Marine Operations agents interdicted a vessel with two occupants transporting 902 pounds of cocaine near Desecheo, with an estimated value is approximately $ 9 million.

The US Coast Guard Investigative Service took custody of the three men and the contraband for prosecution and investigation.