Coast Guard interdicts 1,729 pounds of marijuana, nabs Russian smuggler
San Juan, PR.– The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo and a U.S. naval vessel with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment onboard apprehended a Russian smuggler and intercepted 1,729 pounds of marijuana aboard a Finnish-flagged sailing vessel in the Caribbean Sea Saturday, Feb. 14, approximately 130 nautical miles south of the Dominican Republic.
According to coastguardnews.com, the interdiction was the result of a multi-agency law enforcement effort in support of Operation Unified Resolve and Operation Caribbean Guard. The drug shipment was estimated to have a wholesale value of approximately $1.6 million dollars.
While on a routine patrol the morning of Feb. 14, the crew of the naval vessel detected the suspicious 40-foot sailing vessel transiting the Caribbean Sea. Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to interdict the suspect vessel.
When the Key Largo boarded with the sailing vessel, the crew located a total of 43 packages of suspected contraband. The contraband tested positive for marijuana, the outlet reported.
The Key Largo detained the master along with the contraband and towed the vessel towards Puerto Rico. The marijuana, the suspected smuggler, and sailing vessel were transferred Wednesday to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agents in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.