RINCON, Puerto Rico - One hundred seventy-seven kilograms of cocaine and 200 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of more than $5 million were seized here yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.
The seizure took place after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) patrol aircraft intercepted a vessel traveling with its navigational lights off and in route to Rincon, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Police Department's (PRPD's) Maritime Unit was called for support but the vessel failed to heave and continued its course to shore. The vessel's two occupants fled the scene abandoning the vessel and the contraband on the beach.
"The increase in narcotics' seizures in our jurisdiction is clear proof that ICE, in cooperation with our Department of Homeland Security partners and PRPD, will continue using all our authorities to prevent these drugs from reaching our streets and communities," said Polo Diaz, acting 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 that unscrupulous drug traffickers change our way of life by contaminating our youth and our communities."
The ICE investigation into this case 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.