CABO ROJO, Puerto Rico. (KOLD News 13) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents stopped the transportation of 888 pounds (403 kilos) of cocaine during two separate incidents that occurred near Cabo Rojo Monday night.
Five men, two US citizens, two from the Dominican Republic and one Colombian were arrested. The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $10.8 million.
On Dec. 6, an AMO Marine Patrol Aircraft (MPA) crew detected a 25 to 30 feet single engine “yola” type vessel, with 3 persons visible on board, navigating towards the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico.
The Marine Patrol Aircraft crew maintained surveillance contacting a CBP AMO Marine Unit that intercepted the vessel five nautical miles southwest of the Cabo Rojo Light House. Three migrants were found onboard, one claiming to be a Colombian national and two claiming to be from the Dominican Republic. Agents also found fourteen bales containing approximately 367.8 kilograms of cocaine.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assumed custody of the contraband and the individuals for investigation and prosecution.
In a separate incident on Dec. 6, an AMO Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) crew on patrol detected a vessel navigating without lights near Lobos Island and Cayo Icacos. The crew of the interceptor vessel activated its blue lights, navigation lights, and sirens for which the vessel failed to heave and immediately made a hard turn.
Agents boarded the vessel and detained the two individuals onboard.
An AMO Blackhawk helicopter crew arrived on scene to help in the recovery of the contraband. One black duffel bag and another small gray bag were recovered with 34 bricks of cocaine.
DEA and HSI assumed custody of the contraband and the individuals for investigation and prosecution.
AMO safeguards by anticipating and confronting security threats through 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.