SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) officers, seized 154 kilograms of cocaine Friday with an approximate street value of $12 million. Two individuals were detained in connection with the seizure, which occurred about 10 miles north of Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Around midnight Thursday, a marine patrol aircraft assigned to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB), crewed by CBP officers and a Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) agent, detected a suspicious 22-foot "yola" vessel traveling eastbound toward Puerto Rico.
The crew of the patrol aircraft gave vectors to a PRPD Joint Forces for Rapid Action marine unit, patrolling with a U.S. Border Patrol agent, to interdict the vessel. Prior to the interception, the crew of the vessel was observed throwing bales overboard which landed on a beach and were later recovered by law enforcement in the municipality of Dorado. Two individuals were apprehended in connection with the seizure.
This is the second incident near the coast of Dorado where federal and state authorities prevented a smuggling event. On the evening hours of Thursday April 12, HSI and CCSF partners arrested six Dominican Republic smugglers, and seized 146 kilograms of cocaine and 19 pounds of heroin off the northern coast of Dorado.
CCSF is an initiative of the U.S. Attorney's Office created to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Caribbean. CCSF is part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that investigates South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics using the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States. The initiative is composed of HSI, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, the Coast Guard, CBP and PRPD's Joint Forces for Rapid Action.