Local June 18, 2013 | 4:18 pm

US-Puerto Rico agents arrest 3 Dominicans with 688Ks cocaine

SAN JUAN.- Three Dominicans trying to smuggle 688 kilos of cocaine into Puerto Rico were arrested by authorities, U.S. Federal Attorney in San Juan, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez announced Tuesday, EFE reports.

She said René Peña Almonte, Jose Antonio Toribio and Raul Rodriguez Pascual were intercepted Tuesday aboard a speedboat 195 miles south of Ponce, and the drug seized is valued at US$24 million.

In a press conference at U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in San Juan, the official said that when the Coast Guard found the boat detainees began throwing some of the 20 bales of sea drugs were confiscated later. "We’ve just struck a hard blow to drug trafficking. The important thing is that we didn’t allow the drug to reach its final destination, the United States."

For his part, Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Angel Melendez stressed the cooperation between U.S. authorities in Puerto Rico and local agencies to fight drug trafficking.

He said drug smugglers lately follow a route from Colombia and Venezuela passes to the area south of Puerto Rico. "We see a trend of transporting narcotics from South America in large quantities."

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