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Narcotics
10/13/2011

ICE, CBP arrest 2 and seize 103 kilograms of cocaine

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Two Puerto Rican men were arrested Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents for attempting to import 103 kilograms of cocaine into the United States with an estimated street value of $2.7 million.

Richard Crespo-Gonzalez, 32, and Juan Carlos Ortiz-Abreu, 24, were arrested when they were traveling in a small vessel eight nautical miles from Desecheo, Puerto Rico, with about 103 kilograms of cocaine. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Caribbean Air & Marine Branch (CAMB) aircraft intercepted them on a routine patrol.

The vessel was described as a gray and black wooden yawl bearing Puerto Rico registration PR1045FF.

"ICE HSI will continue working with our partners at CBP and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to identify and dismantle drug trafficking organizations responsible for the importation of multi-kilogram quantities of drugs to Puerto Rico," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Puerto Rico. "Those who think that Puerto Rico is an easy transshipment point to smuggle drugs into the United States, should think twice. ICE HSI and its partners are vigilant and those responsible will be arrested and brought to justice."

Those arrested are in federal custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, awaiting the outcome of their case.

The ICE HSI investigation continues.