24 bales of cocaine were recovered near the shoreline
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico -- With Operation Stonegarden situational awareness and intelligence, the Puerto Rico Police Department’s Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym) on Tuesday seized 1,522 pounds (690 kilos) of cocaine, with an estimated value of $19.3 million, offloaded near the shore of the town of Maunabo, in the southeast of the island.
After an extensive search, US border patrol agents and Puerto Rico police officers found a man, who claimed to be a Dominican Republic national, and 24 bales of narcotics that tested positive to cocaine.
“This is evidence of the extraordinary results that Operation Stonegarden can achieve through sustained collaboration and a grant investment,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Patrol Agent for the Ramey Sector.
The Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG) is designed to enhance cooperation and coordination from the US Border Patrol with local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the border.
OPSG funds were allocated based on risk-based prioritization using a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border patrol sector-specific border risk methodology. Factors considered included, but were not limited to, threat, vulnerability, miles of border, and other border-specific “law enforcement intelligence,” as well as feasibility of operation orders to designated localities within the United States border states and territories.
For Fiscal Year 2016 the Puerto Rico Police Department FURA units received a grant totaling $310,000 to support their collaborative operations with the US Border Patrol.
The case was turned over to the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) for further investigation and prosecution.