US Coast Guard seizes $32.5m of cocaine off Puerto Rico

The Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane interdicted a go-fast vessel with $1,100 kilograms of cocaine and three Dominican smugglers onboard in the Caribbean Sea May 25, 2017. Photo: US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded approximately 1,100 kilograms of cocaine in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday.

Worth an estimated $32.5 million dollars wholesale, the cocaine was seized in a May 25 interdiction in waters off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

According to U.S. Coast Guard, three suspected smugglers, all Dominican nationals, have been turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.

During the afternoon of May 25, a suspicious go-fast vessel was detected by the crew of a maritime patrol aircraft, flying in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, in international waters off the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutters Harriet Lane and Joseph Tezanos to interdict the suspect vessel. The crew of the Harriet Lane interdicted the go-fast, detained the three men onboard and seized multiple bales of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.

The contraband was placed in the custody of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agents in Puerto Rico for processing and disposition.

The Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane is a multi-mission 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported at Base Support Unit Portsmouth, Virginia.

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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