Local May 22, 2013 | 1:14 pm

U.S. agents nab 5 pounds cocaine in truck aboard ferry

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field operations officers discovered 2.45 kilograms (5.4 pounds) of cocaine concealed within a heavy duty truck arriving from the Dominican Republic on the ferry on Friday. This is the third incident in which CBP has found narcotics inside vehicles arriving on the ferry in the past 10 days.

CBP officers arrested the driver of the vehicle Lazaro Lluveres-Macea, 43, a citizen of the Dominican Republic with legal permanent resident status in the US.

Last Friday, during inbound inspections of passenger vehicles arriving from the Dominican Republic onboard the M/V “Caribbean Fantasy” ferry, a CBP canine alerted to the potential presence of narcotics in a truck with Puerto Rico cargo license plates. A more intrusive inspection revealed the concealed narcotics. .

ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is leading the investigation and presented charges against Mr. Lluveres-Macea for consideration by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, accepting prosecution.

“We have stepped up our inspection of aircraft and maritime vessels through a risk-management based, layered enforcement approach closing routes for smugglers,” indicated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk passengers and cargo, including advanced electronic information about every passenger and cargo shipment entering into the U.S. before their arrival.

CBP’s dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband. CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of U.S. law.

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