US Coast Guard nabs suspected drug smugglers in Caribbean Sea

March 13, 2018 in Regional

A United States Coast Guard cutter on patrol

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CMC) — The United States Coast Guard says it has detained three suspected drug smugglers and seized 900 kilograms of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea south of Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard said that three men — Dominican Republic, Colombian and Venezuelan nationals — are now in the custody of US federal law enforcement authorities in Puerto Rico, where they are facing potential prosecution.

“This interdiction was the result of ongoing, multi-agency federal law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF),” the Coast Guard said.

It said that, on March 1, the crew of a patrolling US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) maritime patrol aircraft from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) detected “a suspicious 30-foot go-fast vessel with visible packages on deck transiting without navigational lights, approximately 50 nautical miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard said the drugs and arrested men were transported to Puerto Rico and “turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigations for further investigation, processing and final disposition.”

“The resolve and excellent coordination of our federal and local law enforcement partners operating as part of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force strengthens the security of the nation’s Caribbean border from these drug laden vessels and brings those responsible to justice,” said Captain Eric P King, Sector San Juan commander.