Coast Guard transfers $1.4 million in cocaine in San Juan

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) transferred custody of four suspected smugglers and 50 kilograms of seized cocaine to Caribbean Corridor Strike Force federal agents at Sector San Juan, Oct. 23, 2020. following the interdiction of a drug smuggling go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle transferred custody of four suspected smugglers and 50 kilograms of seized cocaine to Caribbean Corridor Strike Force federal agents at Sector San Juan, Oct. 23, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) transferred custody of four suspected smugglers and 50 kilograms of seized cocaine to Caribbean Corridor Strike Force federal agents at Sector San Juan Friday, following the interdiction of a drug smuggling go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea.

The interdiction was the result of multi-agency efforts in support of U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF). The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution for this case.

The estimated wholesale value of the seized cocaine is more than $1.4 million dollars.

“The performance of the Coast Guard units involved in this case along with the close collaboration of our local and federal law enforcement partners resulted in a successful interdiction,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Sector San Juan chief of response. “This contraband will never reach the streets due to our strong partnerships and shared resolve are crucial to safeguarding the nation’s southernmost maritime border and protecting our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Island from this threat.”

The bust occurred during the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2020, after the aircrew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Miami detected a suspicious 25-foot go-fast vessel northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. (WPC-1107) responded to the sighting and interdicted the go-fast vessel with the assistance of the cutter’s small boat. After the interdiction, the Coast Guard boarding team located and recovered one bale of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.

The crew of the cutter Charles David Jr. embarked the seized contraband and the four men from the go-fast vessel, all of whom claimed Dominican Republic nationality. The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) later embarked and transported the seized contraband and suspected smugglers to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Caribbean Corridor Strike Force federal law enforcement agents received custody.

Cutters Charles David Jr. and Joseph Doyle are 154-foot fast response cutters respectively homeported in Key West Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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