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Cocaine seized off Puerto Rico


Cocaine seized off Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says its Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with officers of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) have arrested three nationals of the Dominican Republic while attempting to smuggle 151 kilogrammes of cocaine into the United States.

In its report on Wednesday, the ICE said the contraband has an estimated street value of US$3.7 million.

It was reported Monday, a US Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft detected a 25-foot boat traveling southbound without navigation lights about 22 nautical miles north of Loiza, Puerto Rico.

On approach by the Coast Guard, ICE said the crew of the vessel “jettisoned five large bales and continued south at high speed until it stopped approximately six nautical miles north of Loiza”.

“The Coast Guard and PRPD seized and salvaged the vessel, took custody of the crew and recovered the jettisoned bales consisting of 128 bricks of cocaine and two roll-shaped objects, which tested positive for heroin,” ICE said.

US Magistrate Bruce McGiverin authorised a complaint charging the three Dominican nationals with “possession and importation of a controlled substance and failure to heave”.

The Dominicans had their initial hearing before the magistrate on Tuesday and were transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Centre awaiting the outcome of their case.

They face a term of ten years to life in prison for the narcotics violations. (CMC)