SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier crew and Caribbean Corridor Strike Force agents offloaded 901 pounds (411kgs) of cocaine Wednesday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following the interdiction of a smuggling vessel north of Puerto Rico.
The three men apprehended in this case are Dominican Republic nationals who are facing federal prosecution in the District Court of Puerto Rico for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
The transnational organized crime division of the US attorney’s office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution for this case, while special agents supporting the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force are leading the investigation.
During a patrol Saturday night, the aircrew of a Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspect go-fast vessel north of Puerto Rico. Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Joseph Napier arrived on the scene in pursuit and stopped the 30-foot blue and white go-fast vessel, apprehended three men and recovered 12 bales of suspected contraband that tested positive for cocaine.
“I’m extremely proud of our crew, especially the pursuit team, for their tactical proficiency and resiliency in stopping this drug-smuggling vessel from entering Puerto Rico,” said Lt. DeVonte Weems, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier commanding officer. “It was a great team effort with seamless coordination between Coast Guard surface, aerial, and shoreside units that resulted in a successful interdiction.”
Cutter Joseph Napier is a 154-foot fast response cutter that is homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The interdiction is the result of multi-agency efforts involving the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.