FAJARDO, Puerto Rico -- Law enforcement components of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) in Puerto Rico have intercepted approximately 138 kilos (304 pounds) of cocaine, two weapons and approximately $21,400 in currency in ferries arriving from the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra since January 2013, and six individuals have been arrested during the interventions.
In January 2013, CBP in Fajardo commenced a joint operation with participation of federal and local law enforcement, to include Office of Field Operations, Border Patrol, Office of Air and Marine, US Coast Guard, Homeland Security Investigations and the Puerto Rico Police Department Forces of Rapid Action (FURA). It is an initiative to conduct inspections on passengers and vehicles which arrive from Culebra and Vieques and disrupt drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of narcotics utilizing the island municipalities as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States.
Multiple seizures of contraband of controlled substances have been processed by CBP officers and transferred over to Homeland Security Investigations and/or Drug Enforcement Administration officials for investigative purposes. The contraband has been hidden in luggage, concealed inside vehicles or abandoned in common areas. The latest seizures occurred this past weekend, when approximately 27 kilos of cocaine were found in a vehicle arriving on the ferry on Friday and another 8 kilos on Sunday.
In addition to the contraband seizures, more than 15 illegal aliens arriving from both municipalities have been detained and turned over to Ramey Border Patrol agents for further processing. Numerous arrests have resulted from these interventions and the commitment of federal and local agencies to disrupt the trafficking of controlled substance through these routes remains strong.
“These arrests and seizures should send a message to those individuals who think they can use the ferry in Fajardo to smuggle contraband or illegals. We are committed to continue protecting our borders,” stated Fajardo Port Director George Rivera.