Coast Guard offloads 2,035 pounds of cocaine in Puerto Rico

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Farallon’s crew offloaded approximately 2,035 pounds of cocaine, with a wholesale value of more than $25.5 million, at Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico Friday.

The drug shipment was transferred to the custody of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents, working as part of the joint federal law enforcement Caribbean Corridor Strike Force Initiative, for further processing and proper disposal.

“This is the ninth major drug interdiction since the end of May that the Coast Guard has been involved in keeping over 7,000 kilograms of illicit drugs from reaching our shores and bringing twenty nine criminals to face justice,” said Capt. Drew Pearson, Sector San Juan commander. “Each interdiction has been the result of coordinated efforts between all law enforcement agencies here in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in this, case the Dominican Republic Navy.”

While on routine patrol late Monday night, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft spotted a high speed vessel headed north towards the Dominican Republic, approximately 21 nautical miles south of Isla Saona, Domincan Republic.

The Ocean Sentry crew vectored the Coast Guard Cutter Farallon into pursuit and witnessed the suspected smugglers tossing contraband overboard from their vessel.

The Coast Guard lost contact with the vessel but was able to recover 37 bales of cocaine from the water with the assistance of the Ocean Sentry aircraft and a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter . After being contacted to assist, the Dominican Republic Navy was also able to recover an additional 23 bales of cocaine. The combined estimated weight of the shipment recovered was 3,300 pounds with an approximate street value of $41M.

The interdiction was part of federal law enforcement efforts in the eastern Caribbean to deny transnational criminal organizations air, land and maritime use of eastern Caribbean transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons and cash.

Patrol boats like the Farallon are the workhorses of America’s littoral maritime fleet. Possessing superior speed and flexibility, Coast Guard patrol boats deliver the Coast Guard’s unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise wherever needed along the coast.

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

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