Local November 1, 2013 | 2:18 pm

U.S. agents seize 13 pounds of cocaine in books from Dom. Rep.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field operations officers seized Wednesday, 13 pounds (5.86 kilos) of cocaine concealed within the flaps of several books inside a package posted from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to Madrid, Spain. The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $146,500.

“We have stepped up our inspection process 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.

At the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport CBP officers randomly selected various packages for inspection, opening one parcel which had several books. The books had residues of a white powder.

A field test of a sample of the powder reacted positive to cocaine. The officers further examined the books finding pouches concealed within the book flaps.

CBP Officers contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, who responded and took custody of the seized narcotics. The HSI investigation is ongoing.

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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