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Contraband
07/08/2008

ICE and PRPD seize $6 million worth of cocaine

DORADO, Puerto Rico - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents, working jointly with Puerto Rico Police Department's Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA) seized here Saturday more than 261 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of more than $6 million.

The seizure took place after a FURA patrol boat spotted what seemed to be an abandoned vessel covered with a blue tarp at a beach near Road 165 in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

The inspection of the vessel by FURA officers revealed a trail that led to the discovery of ten bags containing the stash of cocaine.

ICE agents responded to the scene and seized the contraband.

"This seizure is clear proof of the level of cooperation between ICE and the Puerto Rico Police Department Joint Forces for Rapid Action in our efforts to identify drug smugglers, how they operate and the routes they use," said Manuel Oyola Torres, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "We will simply not tolerate this flagrant disregard of our laws and will not permit unscrupulous drug traffickers to change our way of life by contaminating our youth and our communities."

Although this seizure did not produce the arrest of those responsible for importing the contraband into the United States, the ICE investigation continues.

During fiscal years 2006 and 2007, ICE agents in Puerto Rico seized 3,699 and 3,216 kilograms of cocaine respectively. The street value of the contraband is approximately $207 million.