U.S. agents seize drugs sent on Dominican-Puerto Rico ferry
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized Monday 125 pounds (56.7 kilos) of cocaine and 5 pounds (2.2 kilos) of heroin during two separate incidents in San Juan and Mayaguez.
During the inspection of containers arriving on board the maritime vessel M/V Hansa Regensburg from Caucedo, Dominican Republic, CBP officers selected a container for secondary scrutiny. Inside CBP officers found two bags, containing brick shaped size objects that later tested positive for cocaine and heroin, respectively. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is US$1,240,800 and the heroin is US$192,500.
That same day at the Mayaguez Seaport, CBP officers along with federal and local law enforcement partners performed a routine boarding of the M/V AIVIK 1, which arrived from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. During the inspection, they discovered several plastic wrapped packages, which when probed tested positive to the properties of cocaine. The contraband weighed approximately 9 pounds (4.2 kilos) with an estimated street value of US$99,000.
“Smuggling organizations try to conceal their loads by any means possible and use many venues to avoid detection from law enforcement,” stated Marcelino Borges, CBP Director of Field Operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “Our multi-agency law enforcement efforts are effective in the goal of deterring these smuggling attempts.”
These interdictions are part of a multi-agency law enforcement effort in support of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group’s (CBIG) Operation Caribbean Guard (OCG). Thru the establishment of the OCG Unified Command, DHS agencies, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), and the US Attorney’s Office have been able to optimize agencies’ resources by joining efforts and serving as a force-multiplier to prevent, detect, and interdict the entry of illegal migrants, weapons and narcotics in the Caribbean.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.