CBIG authorities seize 125-pound cocaine shipment off of Aguada, Puerto Rico

Coast Guard District 7 NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities recovered and seized 57 kilograms (125.4 pounds) of cocaine during a maritime pursuit off the coast of Aguada, Puerto Rico Thursday.

The drug shipment was estimated to have a street value of approximately $1.5 million dollars.

The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter on patrol off the west coast of Puerto Rico detected two men aboard a suspicious vessel with no running navigational lights rapidly approaching the coast of Aguada, Puerto Rico Thursday night.

Upon being detected by the Coast Guard helicopter the men onboard the suspicious vessel began to throw overboard what appeared to be bundles of suspected contraband. The suspect vessel continued to transit towards the coastline at a full rate of speed, where the suspects abandoned their vessel and fled the scene upon reaching shore.

Coast Guard Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo to attempt the recovery of the jettisoned cargo left behind by the suspected smugglers. A Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action also arrived on scene and was vectored by the Coast Guard helicopter crew to the location of the suspected contraband. The crew of the Puerto Rico Police maritime unit recovered 57 kilograms of contraband from the water and transferred custody of the contraband to Border Patrol agents ashore. A field test of the contraband yielded positive results to cocaine.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney‘s Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation’s Caribbean borders.

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