FAJARDO, Puerto Rico, February 11, 2016 — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) seized 93 pounds (42 kilos) of cocaine recovered Tuesday night from the water after intercepting a 25 foot vessel 6 nautical miles from Fajardo and arresting 2 men onboard. The estimated value of the cocaine is $1.2 million.
“We leverage our assets and work with all our partners to intercept smuggling attempts such as this one,” stated Johnny Morales, Director of Air Operations at the CBP Caribbean Air and Marine Branch.
Near midnight a CBP Marine Patrol Aircraft (MPA) detected a vessel approximately 2 nautical miles northwest of Culebra Island traveling westbound without navigation lights. The vessel was described as a 25’-center console with twin outboard engines, and two people aboard.
A law enforcement response was coordinated between CBP, US Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Police Department FURA Marine Units.
As marine units reached the vessel, the suspects jettisoned several packages and attempted to abscond. A CBP Interceptor crew was able to stop the vessel and apprehend two subjects.
During a search of the area two bags were recovered with 35 bricks that filed tested positive to cocaine.
Last week CBP AMO and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI ) seized 86 pounds (39 kilos) of cocaine, worth $1 million, concealed inside the hull of a 26 foot boat in Fajardo.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) led Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) assumed custody of the boat and contraband for further investigation and prosecution.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities.
AMO's specialized law enforcement capabilities allow AMO to make significant contributions to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts, as well as to federal, state, local and tribal agencies. AMO conducts its mission between ports of entry, in the maritime environment and within the nation’s interior.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
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