The US Coast Guard said the three men apprehended in the case are Dominican Republic nationals, who are facing US federal prosecution in District Court of Puerto Rico for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
The Transnational Organized Crime Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution of the case, while special agents supporting the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force are leading the investigation, the US Coast Guard said.
It said that during a patrol the aircrew of a Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspect go-fast vessel north of Puerto Rico.
“Coast Guard watch standers at Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Joseph Napier that arrived on scene in pursuit and stopped the 30-foot blue and white go-fast vessel, apprehended three men and recovered 12 bales of suspected contraband that tested positive for cocaine,” the US Coast Guard said.
“I’m extremely proud of our crew, especially the pursuit team, for their tactical proficiency and resiliency in stopping this drug-smuggling vessel from entering Puerto Rico,” said Lieutenant DeVonte Weems, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier commanding officer.
“It was a great team effort with seamless coordination between Coast Guard surface, aerial, and shoreside units that resulted in a successful interdiction.”