Local March 17, 2023 | 2:00 pm

Cocaine valued at US$ 10 million seized from undocumented Dominicans in PR

Operational components of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Puerto Rico Police Department apprehended 18 non-citizens from the Dominican Republic between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. They seized 1,006 pounds ( 456.2 kilograms) of cocaine, in two separate incidents in Cabo Rojo and Toa Baja. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $10.5 million. On March 16, 2023, CBP located a yola-type vessel that was heading towards Punta Salinas, Toa Baja.

The crew of an Air and Sea Operation (AMO) coastal interceptor vessel responded off the coast of Punta Salinas to attempt to intercept it. The AMO crew found an overturned boat and several people in the water northwest of Punta Salinas beach. The crew immediately began search and rescue efforts, recovering four men and two women from the water, as well as 13 bundles of contraband found floating near the capsized vessel. The six migrants claimed to be Dominicans.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has custody of contraband and migrants for investigation. On the night of March 15th, 13 migrants were intercepted at sea by two AMO maritime crews and a FURA maritime unit of the Puerto Rico Police Department, approximately 5 nautical miles southwest of Cabo Rojo. Border Patrol agents transported them to the Ramey Station for processing and deportation.

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