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Contraband
09/29/2011

165 kilograms of cocaine seized from vessel during multi-agency operation

Cocaine has an estimated street value of $4.125 million

Confiscated boat
Confiscated boat

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Late Wednesday, a multi-agency federal law enforcement team seized 165 kilograms (363.8 pounds) of cocaine from inside a green single engine fiberglass vessel, which attempted to illegally enter the western coast of the island.

The custody of the vessel, contraband and two subjects were transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Marine Interdiction Group in San Juan for further investigation.

In the early morning hours, while conducting a border security patrol, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aircraft detected a single engine fiberglass vessel, with two people on board heading east-southeast at about 7 knots, with no navigation lights.

A CBP marine interceptor and helicopter were launched to intercept, while the aircraft remained overhead with constant surveillance of the target.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., the CBP marine interceptor began pursuit of the vessel, but the vessel failed to heave and performed aggressive evasive maneuvers to avoid interception.

Attempting to elude interception, U.S. Coast Guard cutter Resolute eventually stopped the vessel approximately 12 nautical miles north of Mona Island.

The vessel, a green fiberglass hull vessel with a single 115 HP Yamaha engine, was transported by the Resolute to the Mayaguez port of entry for secondary inspection.

The vessel was x-rayed by CBP, and bricks of suspected contraband were discovered, a sample of which field tested positive to cocaine.

A total of 150 bricks of cocaine were retrieved from the boat, having an estimated street value of $4.125 million.