Coast Guard Cutter Decisive seizes $4.8 million cocaine shipment in the Caribbean Sea

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive seized a 317-pound cocaine shipment worth an estimated wholesale of $4.8 million, and apprehended two smugglers following an at-sea interdiction in the Caribbean Sea Friday, 80 nautical miles south of the Dominican Republic.

While on a routine patrol in the Caribbean Sea late Friday night, the crew of a Canadian CP-140 Aurora Maritime Patrol Aircraft patrolling on behalf of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South, detected a 30-foot go-fast vessel, with two outboard engines and two subjects onboard, traveling towards the Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Decisive to interdict the suspect vessel, while the Dominican Republic Navy and National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) authorities also responded after being alerted by the Coast Guard to interdict the go-fast vessel.

The Decisive arrived on scene, and with the assistance of the the cutter’s pursuit craft, intercepted the go-fast vessel. The crew of the Decisive went aboard the suspect vessel where they located and recovered the illegal drug shipment, consisting of six bales of cocaine, and embarked the two suspected smugglers. A further inspection and testing of the suspected drug shipment revealed the contraband to be cocaine.

The Decisive transferred custody of the two smugglers and the illegal drug shipment in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for further investigation and prosecution.

“Coast Guard efforts under Operation Unified Resolve and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group continue to deliver positive results alongside established regional law enforcement partnerships to prevent these illegal drug shipments from reaching our shores and bring those responsible to justice,” said Capt. Michael Zamperini, Coast Guard Sector San Juan acting commander.

The interdiction was a result of U.S. Coast Guard, Joint Interagency Task Force South , Canadian Armed Forces, ICE-HSI, Dominican National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) and Dominican Republic Navy coordinated efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.

The cutter Decisive is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.

The Coast Guard’s efforts under Operation Unified Resolve contribute to the interagency results being achieved each and every day locally under Operation Caribbean Guard, which coordinates efforts between the Coast Guard, its DHS, Commonwealth and Territorial law enforcement partners, who are working diligently to deter, detect and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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