CBP, FURA Apprehend 18 Migrants and Seize 1,006 Pounds of Cocaine in separate incidents in Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operational components and the Puerto Rico Police Department FURA apprehended between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning 18 non-citizens of the Dominican Republic and seized 1,006 Pounds (456.2 kilograms) of cocaine, in two separate incidents in Cabo Rojo and Toa Baja.  The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $10.5 million.

Cocaine Bales Punta Salinas March 2023

On Mar.16, 2023, CBP located a “yola” type vessel moving towards Punta Salinas, Toa Baja.   The crew of an Air and Marine Operation (AMO) Coastal Interceptor Vessel responded to the Punta Salinas shoreline to attempt to intercept the vessel.

The AMO crew found a capsized vessel and several persons in the water at northwest of the Punta Salinas beach.  The crew immediately initiated search and rescue efforts recovering four males and two females from the water, as well as recovering 13 bales of contraband found floating near the capsized vessel.  The six migrants claimed citizenship from the Dominican Republic.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has custody of the contraband and the migrants for investigation.

On the evening of Mar. 15, 13 migrants were intercepted at sea by two AMO maritime crews and one Puerto Rico Police Department FURA maritime unit, approximately 5 nautical miles southwest of Cabo Rojo.  The migrants, 10 men, 1 female and 2 unaccompanied female minors, claimed citizenship from the Dominican Republic.

The Border Patrol agents took custody of the migrants and transported them to Ramey Station for processing and removal proceedings.

AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond.  With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation’s interior.

The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector’s entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.

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