Coast Guard and Caribbean Border Interagency Group arrest 2 and seize 170 pounds of coaine

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard, Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) and Drug Enforcement Administration law enforcement authorities arrested two Dominican drug smugglers and seized 170 pounds of cocaine during an at-sea interdiction in the Mona Passage during the afternoon of Aug. 16.

The seized contraband and detainees were transferred to Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents in Puerto Rico for further processing and investigation, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico will be in charge of prosecuting the case.

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft detected two men aboard a suspicious 25-foot wooden yola (boat) during a law enforcement patrol, approximately 37 nautical miles south of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

The suspected smugglers proceeded to flee the scene and began to throw overboard what appeared to be four bales of suspected contraband after they noticed the presence of law enforcement authorities in the area.

The Coast Guard Cutters Cushing and Campbell and a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, as well as, multiple Customs and Border Protection marine units and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter responded to interdict the suspect vessel and recover the suspected contraband from the water.

The crew of the Cushing interdicted the suspect vessel and detained the two suspected smugglers, while the Customs and Border Protection marine units and helicopter crew were able to locate and recover four bales of the suspected contraband from the water.

Further testing revealed the contraband shipment to be cocaine and was estimated to have a street value of over $2 million dollars.

The Coast Guard Cutters Cushing and Campbell are 110-foot patrol boats homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Kittery, Maine respectively.

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 Office of Border Patrol – Ramey Sector, the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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