Local June 29, 2012 | 12:05 pm

US agents nab 172 Ks of drugs in container shipped from Dominican port

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized Thursday 73 kilograms (161 pounds) of cocaine and six kilograms (13.23 pounds) of heroin concealed within two bags inside a container arriving from Caucedo, Dominican Republic.

During an enforcement operation June 28 at the Port of San Juan, CBP officers were assigned to inspect all containers arriving on board the vessel M/V COLUMBA.

Using a CBP X-ray platform, all the selected containers were scanned and various containers were randomly selected for a more thorough inspection.

CBP officers opened one of the containers selected for inspection and found two bags containing 56 packages of cocaine and four packages heroin. Both drugs tested positive to cocaine and heroin during a field test.

“We are increasing enforcement operations on all inbound containerized cargo arriving from the Dominican Republic and other known drug trafficking source countries that arrive into our seaports to detect and intercept drugs,” said Marcelino Borges, director of field operations for San Juan and the U.Ss Virgin Islands. “This seizure is an example that our strategy is working and we must continue doing this to stop drug smuggling.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took custody of the contraband. The investigation is ongoing..

CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk cargo, including advanced electronic information about every cargo shipment to the U.S. before it arrives. We use strategic intelligence, anomaly analysis and even the relative security of a shipper or importer’s supply chain is evaluated.

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