Multi-million dollars drug bust in Caribbean Sea, suspected smugglers nabbed

The United States Coast Guard on Saturday reported that the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez offloaded approximately 1,981 kilograms of cocaine and 28 kilograms of amphetamines in Puerto Rico following two separate interdictions in the Caribbean Sea.

The US Coast Guard also said that six suspected smugglers were interdicted in the operations.

The seized illegal narcotics have a wholesale value of more than US$48 million.

In its report, the coast guard said the interdictions are the result of multi-agency and international partnership efforts in support of the Miami-based US Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) programme and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF).

According to the US Coast Guard, the Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution for the two cases.

“The coast guard is uniquely equipped to support the US Navy and partner nation navies and coast guards in the interdiction of illicit drugs,” said Rear Admiral Eric C Jones, the commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District.

“Our relationships with nations across the Caribbean basin, along with our law enforcement authorities, enable us to provide essential support to the mission against international criminal networks attempting to smuggle people and drugs into the US,” he added. “We strive to continue building these relationships, further enabling our essential missions that safeguard the American people and our nation’s vital maritime commerce.”

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