Law Enforcement Stops Yola with 3,051 Pounds of Cocaine near Palmas del Mar in Eastern Puerto Rico

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Sat, 04/01/2023 – 12:00

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico— US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO), along with federal, state and local law enforcement, intercepted today a vessel transporting 3,051 Pounds (1384 Kilograms) of cocaine, arresting three non-citizens from Venezuela near Palmas de Mar, in the islands’ eastern coast.  The estimated value of the contraband is approximately $ 32 million.

The crew of an AMO Coastal Interceptor vessel located a lights-out vessel traversing at high speed. The unit lost sight of the vessel and requested assistance from a U.S. Coast Guard Bull-17 aircraft.

The USCG aircraft located the vessel 10 miles off the coast of Humacao, Puerto Rico, maintaining surveillance to assist the AMO Marine unit and a Puerto Rico Police FURA Marine and Intelligence units.

Agents intercepted a “yola” type vessel near the Palmas del Mar resort.  On board arrested three men who claimed to be Venezuelan nationals and seized 40 bales of suspected contraband.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DE) received custody of the contraband and the two individuals for investigation and prosecution.

On Mar. 30, AMO intercepted a vessel near Mona Island with 6 bales of cocaine and arrested 2 men from the Dominican Republic.

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.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.

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