US Coast Guard makes multi-million dollar drug haul, nabs three Dominican Republic nationals

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Jun. 4, CMC The United States Coast Guard has offloaded about 1,100 kilograms of cocaine seized in the Caribbean Sea, worth an estimated US$32.5 million.
On Friday, the Coast Guard also said three suspected smugglers, all from the Dominican Republic, have been turned over to the US Department of Justice for prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.
The offload follows an interdiction on May 25, off the southern coast of Puerto Rico, as the result of ongoing, multi-agency and international law enforcement efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve and Operation Caribbean Guard.
The Coast Guard reports that on 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, off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter that  interdicted the go-fast, detained the three men onboard and seized multiple bales of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.
The Coast Guard said the contraband was placed in the custody of US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agents in Puerto Rico for processing and disposition.
“As in many other cases, the success of this interdiction is due to the strong interagency cooperation between federal and regional law enforcement authorities in the Caribbean,” said Captain Robert W. Warren, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “We remain vigilant and stand ready to protect our citizens from illegal smuggling activities on the high seas.”
Matthew Donahue, DEA’s Caribbean Division Special Agent in Charge, said “successful operations and seizures like this are a direct result from our response to the increase of cocaine production in South America and influx in flow through the Caribbean Vectors.
“Our collective efforts with the US Coast Guard, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) District of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Police Department, and DEA’s foreign host nation counterparts continue, and these collaborative efforts lead to highly successful prosecutions around the world,” he said.

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