SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Friday June 30, 2017 – Three nationals of the Dominican Republic have been arrested while attempting to smuggle 151 kilogrammes of cocaine worth approximately $3.7 million into the United States.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with officers of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) arrested the trio on Monday.
A Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft had detected a 25-foot boat traveling without navigation lights. Three law enforcement vessels – one from the US Coast Guard and two from the Puerto Rico Police Department – were deployed to intercept the suspicious vessel.
Upon approach by the Coast Guard, the crew of the vessel threw five large bales overboard and sped away before stopping approximately six nautical miles north of Loiza.
The vessel was seized, the crew taken into custody and the bales recovered and found to contain128 bricks of cocaine and two objects which tested positive for heroin.
The three Dominican nationals have been charged with possession and importation of a controlled substance and failure to heave. They had their initial hearing before the magistrate Tuesday and were transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center to await the outcome of their case.
They face a term of 10 years to life in prison for the narcotics violations.