Aguadilla, Puerto Rico – US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) air and marine units intercepted last night, a vessel with 47 bricks of cocaine near the Cabo Rojo lighthouse.
Near midnight the crew of the CBP Caribbean Air & Marine Branch (CAMB) DHC-8 aircraft detected a vessel traveling east without navigational lights towards Cabo Rojo, in the southwest coast of the island.
The aircraft notified a CBP Mayaguez Marine Unit Interceptor with the position of the suspect vessel.
Upon initial contact with the operator and crewmember of the vessel it failed to heave and continued heading towards Puerto Rico, performing erratic evasive maneuvers and began to jettison gasoline containers, as well as what appeared to be bales overboard.
As the suspect vessel collided with the CBP Interceptor, the two individuals aboard the vessel dumped a gas container overboard consequently jumping in the water.
The CBP unit rescued and detained the two individuals and recovered three bales, finding inside 47 bricks of suspected contraband, which later tested positive to cocaine.
The 47 bricks weighed 123.68 pounds/56.1 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated value of $ 1.4 million.
The individuals, claiming to be citizens of the Dominican Republic, and the contraband were transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
The CBP Office of Air and Marine (OAM), is the world’s largest aviation and maritime law enforcement organization, protecting the American public through the coordinated use of integrated air and marine forces to detect, interdict and prevent acts of terrorism and the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband toward or across the borders of the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.