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HSI, CBP arrest 2 on drug trafficking charges, seize 3.2 kilograms of cocaine

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, arrested two Culebra residents Sunday on drug trafficking charges and seized 3.2 kilograms of cocaine.

Carmen Rivera-Perez, 27, and Neyshma Carmona-Arizmendi, 20, both of Culebra, were arrested after CBP officers inspected their luggage onboard the Cayo Norte ferry. The inspection revealed two plastic-wrapped bricks that tested positive for cocaine. The bricks weighed approximately 3.2 kilograms.

"Those who think the municipality islands of Vieques and Culebra can be used as easy shipment points to import drugs into Puerto Rico, and thus, the United States, are mistaken," said Angel Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "We will continue to work with our Department of Homeland Security and local partners to identify, arrest and prosecute those who disregard our customs laws and try to import illegal drugs into our jurisdiction."

Both, Rivera-Perez and Carmona-Arizmendi had their initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin who granted granted bail to both defendants.

The HSI investigation into the arrest of the two women and the cocaine seizure continues.