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HomeNewsLocal newsBorder Agents Seize $3.1M in Cocaine, Arrest Three

Border Agents Seize $3.1M in Cocaine, Arrest Three

Customs and Border Protection Agents, with help from the Puerto Rico Police Department, seized 136 bricks of cocaine with an estimated street value of $3.1 million on Wednesday and Thursday. (Photo courtesy Customs and Border Protection)
Customs and Border Protection agents, with help from the Puerto Rico Police Department, seized 136 bricks of cocaine with an estimated street value of $3.1 million on Wednesday and Thursday. (Photo courtesy Customs and Border Protection)

Officials seized 136 bricks of cocaine with an estimated street value of $3.1 million in two separate incidents that began in the waters of St. Thomas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported Thursday.

Three people were arrested in Puerto Rico in connection with the incidents — one on Wednesday on Culebra, and two on Thursday on Vieques.

According to the report, during a routine patrol on Wednesday, the crew of an CBP Air and Marine Operations aircraft located a vessel without navigation lights meeting another vessel, without lights, near Savana Island, off the west end of St. Thomas. The encounter was brief and both vessels immediately separated, it said.

The aircraft followed the vessel navigating west and reaching the Las Pelas area of Culebra. As the boat remained adrift away from a dock, a Customs and Border Protection interceptor vessel approached and detained the captain.

Aboard the boat, agents found a duffle bag containing 23 bricks of cocaine and arrested the captain, a U.S. citizen, the report stated.

At the Fajardo Boathouse, border agents handed custody of the contraband and the individual to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation and prosecution.

In the second incident, on Thursday, an Air and Marine Operations aircraft detected a vessel navigating without lights from St Thomas to Vieques. Two interceptor vessels reached and pursued the boat, which failed to heave, according to the report.

The three occupants landed in Vieques, unloaded large duffle bags in the bush, and went on the run, it said. Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents disembarked and gave chase with support from the Puerto Rico Police Department and a boat unit from that territory’s rapid action joint forces unit.

Agents were able to find and arrest two individuals, seizing 113 bricks of cocaine, according to the report. A helicopter crew is searching the area to try to locate the third individual, it said.

The two arrestees are both U.S. citizens who live on Vieques. They and the contraband were transferred to the custody of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the report stated.

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