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CBP-AMO interdicts 695 pounds of cocaine headed to Cabo Rojo

CBP-AMO interdicts 695 pounds of cocaine headed to Cabo Rojo
Archive image: A U.S. Customs and Border Protection A-Star helicopter is pulled from a hangar prior to embarking on a flight at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Houston Air Unit in Conroe, Texas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett.

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico. March 23, 2022 — CBP-AMO (US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations) agents intercepted a vessel near Cabo Rojo with 695 pounds (315.4 Kilos) of cocaine and one firearm. The estimated value of the cocaine is $6,3 million and the two vessel occupants were arrested.

“Our maritime awareness allows us to detect and interdict narcotics smuggling attempts efficiently,” indicated Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “Our agents will continue to use our advanced aeronautical capabilities to secure our coastal borders.”

On Mar.22, the aircrew of an CBP-AMO AS350 A-STAR helicopter patrolling the vicinity of Cabo Rojo spotted a center console vessel with a T-Top, single outboard engine and two persons on board, navigating east at considerable speed.

The crew maintained visual contact and reached out to an CBP-AMO Mayaguez Coastal Interceptor crew in order to intercept the vessel. The Marine Unit escorted the vessel to the boat station where the AMO agents made a thorough search finding 250 bricks in a hidden compartment in the hull. The bricks contained a white powder substance that field tested positive to the properties of cocaine.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took custody of the two male US citizens operating the vessel, the contraband and the firearm for investigation and prosecution.

US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations safeguards the United States by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond.

With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior.

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