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CBP AMO seized 48 million in Cocaine in Puerto Rico

CBP AMO seized 48 million in Cocaine in Puerto Rico
CBP AMO seized 48 million in Cocaine in Puerto Rico.
Archive image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrews conduct pre-flight briefings and aircraft safety checks prior to flying assessment and search and rescue missions following the landfall of Hurricane Michael in Jacksonville, FL. October 11, 2018.
In the image an AS350 A-Star helicopter and its aircrew.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Glenn Fawcett.

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico – CBP AMO (US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations) and Puerto Rico Police FURA Units, seized 4,616 pounds (2,094 kilograms) of cocaine found inside a vessel that landed in the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico.

The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is approximately $48.1 million.

On May 28, during a routine patrol, the crew of an Air and Marine Operations aircraft located a vessel with three occupants without navigation lights navigating south near the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.

The Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations crew kept surveillance of the vessel contacting an AMO Coastal Interceptor unit to reach a suspect Eduardoño-type vessel with two outboard engines. 

The AMO Coastal unit was able to reach the suspect vessel near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, turning on the blue law enforcement lights, and spotlight. The operators of the vessel failed to heave and during the pursuit they struck a reef and beached the vessel. The three occupants fled into a wooded area in Punta Guayanes, Yabucoa.  

Smuggling organizations are attempting to disguise their illegal activities as those of normal leisure boaters,” Augusto Reyes, Director of the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “AMO agents are highly skilled, able to see through their tactics, and committed to use all our capabilities to interdict them and stop their illegal smuggling ventures.”

Puerto Rico Police and FURA officers searched the area. Due to the dense vegetation and rocky terrain, agents and officers were unable to locate the individuals. Inside the vessel 58 bales of cocaine were found.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took custody of the narcotics for investigation.

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