SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard offloaded approximately 200 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $6.6 million wholesale value and transferred custody of three suspected smugglers Friday to U.S. federal law enforcement authorities in the Dominican Republic.
The interdiction and contraband seizure is the result of ongoing, multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve and Operation Caribbean Guard.
During the evening of Dec 14, the crew of a Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft on a patrol detected a suspicious go-fast vessel, suspected of smuggling contraband in the Caribbean Sea. The Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser interdicted the vessel, detained the three suspected smugglers and seized numerous bales, which tested positive for cocaine.
“This case showcased the work and close coordination being done by the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and shore side law enforcement professionals every day,” said Lt. Joseph A. Haynsworth, Winslow Griesser commanding officer. “We stand vigilant and ready in our collective resolve to stop smugglers at sea and bring those responsible to justice.”
The Coast Guard’s efforts under Operation Unified Resolve contribute to the interagency results being achieved locally each and every day under Operation Caribbean Guard, which coordinates efforts between the Coast Guard, DHS and the Commonwealth and Territorial law enforcement partners, who are working to deter, detect and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser is a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in San Juan.