Coast Guard apprehends 4 Dominicans suspected of drug smuggling activities off Puerto Rico

Coast Guard Investigative Service personnel in San Juan, Puerto Rico took custody of four Dominican nationals Aug. 24, 2017, who were interdicted by the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier in Mona Passage waters the morning of July 28. The men, were detected aboard a suspicious vessel traveling toward Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic. The Joseph Napier gave chase to the suspect vessel that performed aggressive maneuvers to avoid interdiction.

Coast Guard Investigative Service personnel in San Juan, Puerto Rico take custody of four Dominican nationals Aug. 24, 2017, who were interdicted by the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Coast Guard Investigative Service personnel took custody of four Dominican nationals Thursday, who were interdicted by the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier in Mona Passage waters the morning of July 28.

The night of July 27, the crew of a Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspicious go-fast vessel traveling towards Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic, approximately 38 nautical miles west of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Joseph Napier to interdict the suspect vessel.

The Joseph Napier gave chase to the suspect vessel which failed to heave to and performed aggressive maneuvers to avoid interception. During the pursuit, Joseph Napier boarding team members observed the suspects jettisoning objects overboard, and one of the suspects brandishing a knife at them.

The Joseph Napier forced the non compliant vessel to a full stop by employing disabling fire to the suspect vessel’s engines. Following the interdiction, a Coast Guard boarding team conducted an at-sea boarding and embarked the suspected smugglers aboard the Joseph Napier.

“This was a successful interdiction thanks to the great interagency coordination communication and execution between the Coast Guard units involved,” said Miguel Rivera-Cuadrado, Coast Guard Investigative Service Resident Agent in Puerto Rico. “The Coast Guard’s shared resolve with our federal and local law enforcement partners is to protect the citizens of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands by stopping and keeping these maritime threats from entering our shores.”

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