Photo: U.S. Coast Guard retrieving cocaine
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Dominican navy confiscated 1,498 kilos (3,300 pounds) of cocaine after smugglers tossed the haul overboard in Caribbean waters.
The drug seizure occurred Monday night when a Coast Guard aircraft on routine patrol spotted a high-speed vessel heading north to the Dominican Republic.
The suspected smugglers began throwing contraband overboard before speeding away and U.S. and Dominican authorities eventually recovered 60 bales of cocaine.
“This is the ninth major drug interdiction since the end of May that the Coast Guard has been involved in, keeping over 7,000 kilograms of illicit drugs from reaching our shores and bringing 29 criminals to face justice,” Capt. Drew Pearson, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan, said.
“Each interdiction has been the result of coordinated efforts between all law enforcement agencies here in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and in this case, the Dominican Republic navy,” he said.
In the press release, the Coast Guard said a patrol boat offloaded approximately 2,035 pounds (924 kilos) of cocaine with a wholesale value of more than $25.5 million at Coast Guard Sector San Juan on Friday.
Pedro Janer, the acting special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Caribbean division, said the operation was possible thanks to cooperation among federal, Puerto Rican and Dominican authorities.