ICE nabs alleged members of Caribbean drug trafficking organisation

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Thursday October 31, 2013, CMC – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says 10 alleged members of a drug trafficking organization in the Caribbean have been arrested in a law enforcement operation.

The operation, dubbed “Waterfront,” was a joint investigation led by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“This case exemplifies that those involved in the importation of narcotics and other contraband into and out of our country will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan, Puerto Rico.

According to court documents, the individuals arrested conspired and coordinated the purchase of kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from sources in Colombia and Dominican Republic.

The drugs were placed inside containerized cargo vessels that were scheduled to arrive in the seaport in San Juan.

Once in Puerto Rico, longshoremen and other individuals working for private companies used their employment credentials and privileges to gain access inside the containerized cargo vessels and secure areas inside the seaport to retrieve the controlled substances and deliver them to others waiting outside the seaport, court documents reveal.

“Some of the drugs smuggled were distributed in Puerto Rico, and some were further transported to the continental United States for eventual resale,” ICE said. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)