SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 15 (UPI) — Four suspected smugglers have been detained as U.S. authorities seized 1,110 kilograms of cocaine worth $32.7 million in Caribbean waters.
In a joint operation, the crews of the Coast Guard cutter Richard Dixon and naval vessel USS Shamal apprehended a Colombian and three Venezuelan men, who were taken for questioning to Department of Justice offices in South Florida.
“The swift response and coordination between the responding units prevented this illegal shipment from reaching shore,” said Capt. Robert W. Warren, Coast Guard Sector San Juan Commander.
During a routine patrol April 7, a maritime patrol aircraft spotted a suspicious-looking 30-foot blue-hulled go-fast vessel, 150 miles south of La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Coast Guard and U.S. Navy crews were dispatched to intercept the vessel, and fired warning shots before boarding the alleged smuggler’s boat.
Just last week, authorities seized 550 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $8.25 million, in international waters north-west of Aruba.