620 Pounds of Cocaine Found on Yacht in West Palm Beach: Officials

Yacht captain arrested after 620 pounds of cocaine found on boat: Officials.

Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013  |  Updated 2:44 PM EDT
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A South Florida yacht captain is facing federal charges after he was caught smuggling more than 620 pounds of cocaine into West Palm Beach, officials said.

Jonathan Costenbader, 34, was arrested on Sunday and charged with conspiracy to import more than 5 kilos of cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver more than 5 kilos of cocaine, according to a criminal complaint released Wednesday.

According to the complaint, A Customs and Border Protection aircraft spotted Costenbader's yacht, Secret Spot, heading west about 30 miles from shore Sunday.


Agents watched as the boat docked at Palm Harbor Marina  and Costenbader began removing multiple duffel bags and putting them into his truck, the complaint said.

Costenbader told the agents he had come from the Bahamas and hadn't cleared Customs, the complaint said. When they asked him what was in the bags, he admitted it was cocaine, the complaint said.

"Agents ultimately discovered approximately 11 bags that contained approximately 282 kilogram sized bricks of cocaine," the complaint said.


Costenbader said he received the cocaine from a small vessel offshore near the Bahamas. A woman who was on Secret Spot, 33-year-old Michelle Daniel, admitted to helping load the bags and was also arrested on similar charges, the complaint said.

Steven Davis, 26, who was supposed to accept the cocaine from Costenbader, was also arrested after Costenbader delivered fake cocaine to him with the help of the agents, the complaint said.

Davis told the agents he believed he would be receiving about 200 bricks of marijuana and/or cocaine from Costenbader, the complaint said.

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