The United Coast Guard says it seized nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana with a street value of more than US$3.5 million during an exercise in the Caribbean Sea.
It said six smugglers had been detained.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this crew,” said Captain. Mark Gordon, Commanding Officer of the Hamilton.
“Even more important than the drugs they kept from reaching our borders, this crew prevented the criminal organizations from using the illicit proceeds from these drugs to further their criminal enterprises, and sow violence and corruption wherever they operate,” he added.
As part of its Western Hemisphere strategy, the US Coast Guard said it has increased its presence in the transit corridors of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
“These routes are vital to the transnational criminal organizations that use them to move drugs to our borders and profit from the movement and sale of illicit goods,” the US Coast Guard said.
Last weekend, the crew of the cutter Joseph Tezanos (WPC-1118) offloaded 2,513 pounds of cocaine and transferred custody of three suspected smugglers to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agents in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Coast Guard, DEA and Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) law enforcement authorities seized the US$28.5 million cocaine shipment and apprehended three men of Dominican Republic nationality, following the interdiction of a 30-foot go-fast vessel in waters north of Loiza, Puerto Rico.
This interdiction was the result of ongoing multi-agency law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Caribbean Guard, the CBIG and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), the US Coast Guard said.
“This seizure highlights how effectively the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and Caribbean Corridor Strike Force work together to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs into Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mario Gil.
“We take great pride in knowing that our collective efforts led to this significant victory in combating these transnational criminal organizations who attempt to flood our streets with crime and instability,” he added.
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