USCG: Suspected smugglers, 220 pounds of cocaine interdicted southwest of Cabo Rojo

Coast Guard, CBP interdict suspected smugglers, cocaine

By Troy Blevins - Graham Media Group
US Coast Guard

Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Three suspected smugglers and about 220 pounds of cocaine were interdicted about 41 miles southwest of Cabo Rojo, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Officials said an aircraft crew with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations Branch found a 20-foot go-fast vessel with three people and suspicious duffel bags aboard.

Watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard cutter Joseph Tezanos to the scene to interdict, officials said.

The Tezanos' crew spotted the go-fast crew throwing nine duffel bags overboard. Officials said the Tezanos' crew recovered six of the bags, embarked the three suspected smugglers and destroyed the go-fast vessel as a danger to navigation.

"This case highlighted the strong partnership between Customs and Border Protection and the Coast Guard," said Capt. Gregory Magee, Sector San Juan deputy commander. "This interdiction would not have been possible without our established relationship and great work by their aircrews."

Officials said the Tezanos' crew transferred the suspected smugglers and interdicted cocaine to Coast Guard Investigative Services agents in Puerto Rico.

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