The US coast guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) patrol work together to facilitate cross-border coordination with the aim of reducing crime. This coordination has been rewarded with the apprehension of three people who claim to be from the Dominican Republic suspected of cocaine smuggling in the Eastern Caribbean.
The vessel appeared suspicious as it was navigating in the dark without the use of navigational lights approximately 65 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico. This alerted the officials of the Coast Guard Watchstanders who corresponded with CBIG partner agencies, appraising them of the situation. The Coast Guard Cutters, Joseph Tezanos and Thetis were deployed to interdict the vessel while air surveillance was on going.
Tezanos maintained pursuit while a second crew were able to intersect the go-fast approximately 95 miles nautical miles northeast of St Thomas, USVI. Once on scene, the search led to the discovery of 52 bales of illegal imports and on testing revealed the products to be cocaine.
The bales contained 2606 pounds, or approximately 1182 kilograms of cocaine valued at about $30 million. The suspects were handed over to US Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents in St. Thomas, USVI and it is expected that they face prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of the USVI.