ICE agents seize approx. 870 pounds of cocaine at sea Puerto Rico

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents seized approximately 870 pounds of cocaine this weekend 20 miles north of Desecheo Island near Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

On Friday, October 17, 2003, at approximately 00:15 a.m., an Omaha 69A C-12 aircraft assigned to the Air & Marine Operations (AMO) Unit of ICE in Aguadilla, P.R., detected a vessel 25 nautical miles northwest of Borinquen, Aguadilla that met the description of a craft believed to be carrying illegal merchandise. An ICE Black Hawk helicopter was then launched to track the vessel making contact with the craft at coordinates North 18.38, West 67.29. ICE agents alerted the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Northland and ICE's fast boats. Upon intercept ICE agents found 15 bails of contraband floating in the waters near Desecheo Island and carrying, approximately, 870 and pounds of cocaine. The contraband and occupants of the vessel, three males who claim to be Dominican nationals were transferred to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and turned over the ICE's duty agent.

"We are sending a very clear message to those in the business of importing illegal merchandise and narcotics to the United States through Puerto Rico. We will simply not tolerate it," said Gustavo Araiza, Acting Field Director, Caribbean Air & Marine Branch of ICE. "We will use all our resources to prevent the proliferation of drugs in the streets of Puerto Rico. For this, we count on the support of all law enforcement agencies in Puerto Rico: Federal, State and local," added Acting Special Agent in Charge of ICE in Puerto Rico, Myrna O. Pere.

Source: ICE

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