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Contraband
05/06/2009

More than 2,210 lbs of coke seized from Port of San Juan since late March

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Teamwork between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and the San Juan Police Department (SJPD) have led to the seizure of more than 2,210 pounds of cocaine and 27 pounds of heroin during routine inspections of cargo ships entering the Port of San Juan since March 24, 2009.

"Through these seizures we are sending a clear message that the Port of San Juan will not be a safe haven for criminals looking to ship drugs into Puerto Rico and the United States," said Roberto Escobar-Vargas, acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "ICE along with its federal and local partners are committed to working together to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into San Juan."

On March 30, ICE special agents, CBP officers and other state and federal officers inspected cargo from the Motor Vessel Joh Gorthon, which had arrived in San Juan from the Dominican Republic on March 24. During the inspection, the officers discovered that one of the cargo flatbeds had a false floor which contained 160 brick-shaped packages of cocaine and 13 brick-shaped packages of heroin.

On April 8, ICE agents, CBP officers and other state and federal officers discovered 49 brick-shaped packages of cocaine during an inspection of shipping containers from the Motor Vessel Caribbean Express, which also arrived in San Juan from the Dominican Republic.

ICE agents, CBP officers and other state and federal officers found more than 1600 pounds of cocaine April 30, during a routine inspection of shipping containers from the Motor Vessel Nicea, which arrived in San Juan from the Dominican Republic on April 24.

"We will continue to inspect cargo that comes into San Juan and find any and all illegal substances contained therein," said Marcelino Borges, director of the CBP Office of Field Operation in Puerto Rico. "This is a great illustration of the dividends that are paid by having law enforcement working together in the United States' ports of entry every day."