U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Puerto Rico teamed up with local law enforcement to seize more than 1,300 pounds of cocaine and arrest two illegal alien drug smugglers.
Agents with the Puerto Rico Police Department’s Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA) contacted Ramey Station Border Patrol agents after they spotted a 28-foot twin engine “Contender” vessel off the coast of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. Border Patrol and FURA agents searched the vehicle after bringing it to a stop.
The agents found two Dominican Republic nationals on board. The search uncovered a large stash of cocaine inside the vessel. The bailed bundles of cocaine weighed 1,326 pounds, officials stated, and have an estimated street value of $15.6 million.
The law enforcement agents turned the drugs and the two Dominican illegal aliens over to agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation. Officials also seized the boat, valued at about $70,000.
“We will not let down our guard. We won’t stop. We have been doing it and we will continue joining efforts and resources against drug trafficking in the Caribbean,” Acting Special Agent InCharge for the DEA, Reinaldo Lopez said in a written statement. “Expect to see more results like this on in the near future. Inter-agency efforts have been excellent and we’ll continue to achieve great results.”
The joint law enforcement effort is made possible through federal funding of “Operation Stonegarden.” The program provides federal funding to state and local law enforcement officials to assist Border Patrol agents in securing our national borders.
“We work daily with our Stonegarden partner FURA to stop smuggling attempts in different locations throughout the island,” Ramey Station Chief Patrol Agent Ramiro Cerrillo said in the statement.