U.S. Coast Guard Offloads $3.1M In Cocaine Seized In The Caribbean – St. Lucia Times News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Legare and Caribbean Corridor Strike Force agents offloaded 330 pounds (150kgs) of seized cocaine last week in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following the interdiction of a smuggling vessel near the Caribbean island.

A U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan Facebook post said the seized contraband has an estimated wholesale value of approximately $3.1 million.

According to the Coast Guard, eight men apprehended in the case claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals.

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The men are facing federal prosecution in Puerto Rico for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance Aboard a Vessel Subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States.

The charges carry a minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life.

The drug bust occurred during the late night hours of August 16, 2022.

At the time the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine multi-role enforcement aircraft detected a 25-foot suspect vessel north of Isabela, Puerto Rico.

During the interdiction, the smugglers jettisoned multiple bales of suspected contraband into the water.

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle stopped the suspect vessel, apprehended eight men, and recovered five bales of the jettisoned cargo.

Law enforcement officials transferred the seized contraband and the apprehended men to the cutter Legare for their transport to Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the interdiction was due to multi-agency efforts.

The efforts involved the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), the Caribbean Border Interagency Group, and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.

Photos courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

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