Monday 20 August, 2018

Dom Rep man held in Puerto Rico with US$29M in cocaine

US authorities detained one man and seized a whopping 1,441 kilogrammes of cocaine worth US$29 million in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 19. 

According to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) department, working jointly U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) seized 1,441 kilograms of cocaine in Vega Alta, San Juan, on Tuesday.

The cocaine has an estimated street value of approximately $29 million.

On March 19, HSI Arecibo and CBP air units detected a 32-foot Century vessel north of Puerto Rico transporting what appeared to be bales of narcotics. HSI agents, with the assistance of PRPD’s air unit, responded to the area and witnessed when the vessel crew jumped out of the vessel and ran toward a wooded area followed by those part of the offload crew.

HSI special agents secured and seized the vessel and the 1,289 bricks of cocaine weighing 1,441 kilograms.

A Dominican Republic national was arrested in conjunction with the seizure.

“These enforcement actions show how HSI San Juan is proving to be a worst case scenario for criminal organizations attempting to smuggle dangerous contraband through Puerto Rico,” said Orlando Baez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan.

“The success of the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) in combating drug-related crime and violence is the reason the Department of Homeland Security created the task force in Puerto Rico.”

The HSI investigation is ongoing.