Coast Guard Confiscates 1,511 Pounds of Cocain, 17 Pounds of Heroin

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Coast Guard personnel, working with their partners in the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG), Puerto Rico made a drug interdiction in the Mona Passage Friday, May 23, 2008, detaining two drug smugglers and seizing approximately 1,511 pounds of cocaine and 17 pounds of heroin (approximately 600 kilos of drugs).

The cases of the two drug smugglers, Josué Alberto Dávila Padró and Jonathan Fonseca Torres, were accepted for prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico.

The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection fixed-wing aircraft located a suspect vessel Friday morning near Mona Island, Puerto Rico, as the vessel was transiting to the west coast of Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic. Coast Guard Cutter Tornado arrived on scene and interdicted the 35-foot fiberglass vessel, about seven miles southeast of Mona Island. The crew of the Tornado took custody of two Puerto Ricans and initially located and recovered approximately 15 bricks of cocaine hidden within the vessel. They towed the vessel to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico where they turned over the custody of the drugs, the vessel and the smugglers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE.

After ICE agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers conducted a further inventory search of the interdicted vessel, they located an additional 445 bricks of cocaine and seven bricks of heroin.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air & Marine (A&M), Office of Field Operations (OFO), and Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the United States Attorney ‘ s Office, District of Puerto Rico, in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation’s Caribbean borders.

Coast Guard Cutter Tornado is 179-foot patrol craft home ported in Pascagoula, Miss.

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