US Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations agents seized 328 pounds of cocaine from a vessel near Puerto Rico on November 15, in what is the latest sign that traffickers may be returning to once popular Caribbean smuggling routes.
A CBP DHC-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft picked up a small, wooden “yola” vessel traveling eastward about 8 miles west of Desecheo Island, off the western coast of Puerto Rico.
CBP vessels were deployed to intercept the suspect boat, and agents observed two men on board the small wooden ship take packages from a cooler and toss them overboard.
Agents reached the vessel and arrested the two men. A search uncovered two compartments on the boat loaded with bricks of what tested positive for cocaine.
Agents also recovered the two bricks thrown into the water, and the total haul amounted to 328 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $4.2 million.
This seizure comes less than a month after CBP agents intercepted a similar vessel near Puerto Rico carrying 283 pounds of cocaine worth $3.6 million, and the two incidents appear to be the latest high-value seizure events.