Coast Guard offloads $44.2 million of cocaine in Puerto Rico

Drugs seized near Haiti, Dominican Republic

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded $44.2 million worth of cocaine Monday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Authorities said the drugs were seized in two separate drug smuggling attempts in the Caribbean Sea.

"With coordinated efforts we kept these drugs from making it to their intended destination - an overall success for the ongoing counter drug team in the Caribbean," said Lt. David Gilbert, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon.

One of the go-fast boats was intercepted Oct. 19 about 45 nautical miles southeast of Haiti. Authorities said the smugglers began throwing the drugs overboard when they saw that law enforcement was in the area. Authorities said 57 bales were recovered, which tested positive for cocaine.

Three suspected smugglers were taken into custody.

The second boat was intercepted off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Three men were taken into custody and about 200 kilograms of cocaine were recovered.

"The relationships and partnerships between our federal and regional partners in the Caribbean continue to yield positive results in disrupting and interdicting at sea the flow of drugs from South America," said Capt. Robert Warren, Sector San Juan commander. "Our collective resolve in preventing these drug shipments from reaching our borders is making a difference."

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