United States

Alleged Smugglers Arrested, $14M Worth of Cocaine Confiscated: USCG

The United States Coast Guard has transferred custody of two suspected smugglers and 1,230 pounds of cocaine to ICE special agents in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

During a routine patrol on Aug. 11 in the Caribbean Sea, a USCG crew detected a suspicious 30-foot vessel with two people and possible contraband on board.

The vessel was detected approximately 55 nautical miles south of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Coast Guard crew arrived on scene in pursuit of the suspicious vessel. As they closed-in, they observed the people aboard the vessel throw their cargo overboard and flee the area.

The crew intercepted the vessel, approximately 17 nautical miles south of Humacao, Puerto Rico. In addition, 19 bales of suspected contraband that was thrown into the water was recovered, which later tested positive for cocaine.

The drug shipment was estimated to have a wholesale value of approximately $14 million.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico filed a criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico to prosecute the two men on charges of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States and conspiracy to posses cocaine.

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