Coast Guard offloads $7.5 million cocaine shipment in Puerto Rico

A Coast Guard Dauntless boarding team transports six apprehended suspected drug smugglers, four Venezuelan and two Colombian nationals, following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel July 17, 2015, approximately 80 nautical miles north of Aruba. During the interdiction, the crew of the Dauntless seized 275 pounds of cocaine estimated to have a wholesale value of $7.5 million. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Dauntless boarding team transports six apprehended suspected drug smugglers following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel July 17, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless offloaded and transferred custody of a $7.5 million cocaine shipment to federal law enforcement special agents Wednesday at Coast Guard Sector San Juan.

The Dauntless seized the 275-pound cocaine shipment and detained six suspected drug traffickers, four Venezuelan and two Colombian nationals, following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel July 17 in the Caribbean Sea.

The Cutter Dauntless, along with the assistance of a Netherlands Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft, initially detected the suspicious vessel in international waters 80 nautical miles north of the Netherlands Antilles Island of Aruba. During the pursuit, the crews of the aircraft and the Dauntless observed people aboard the suspicious go-fast vessel jettisoning packages overboard.

After interdicting the vessel, the Dauntless crew successfully recovered five of the suspicious packages that were jettisoned from the go-fast vessel that later tested positive for cocaine.

The six suspected smugglers, a representative sample of cocaine, and the go-fast were transferred by the Dauntless to the Venezuelan Navy, while the rest of the abandoned drugs were transported to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Once again, the crew of the Dauntless, along with our Dutch partners, proved to be a worthy opponent,” said Cmdr. Fritz Kuebler, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless. “We take great satisfaction in knowing that our efforts are helping to secure not only American streets but also the streets of our Caribbean neighbors.”

The Dauntless is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Galveston, Texas.

The ship and crew execute maritime law enforcement, homeland security and search and rescue missions in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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