The United States Coast Guard says the crew of its Cutter Joseph Napier offloaded 182 kilograms of cocaine seized in the Caribbean Sea waters southwest coast of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, with an estimated street value of US$4.5m, and transferred custody of two male smugglers to US federal law enforcement authorities in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard said on Friday the British Royal Navy HMS Trent, seized the contraband and apprehended two smugglers, nationals of the Dominican Republic, following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel in the Caribbean Sea on March 3.

In accordance with the coast guard, the interdiction is a result of interagency efforts in support of the Coast Guard’s Western hemisphere strategy and operation unified resolve. The Drug Enforcement Administration is leading the investigation in this case.

“We appreciate the work and collaboration of our British Royal Navy partners in stopping drug smuggling vessels in the high seas,” said Commander Gerard Wenk, Coast Guard Sector San Juan chief of response. “The work we do together daily with our federal and local and regional partners helps protect and bring stability to the Caribbean region from this threat.”

DEA’s Caribbean division special agent in charge denise foster, said: “Drug smuggling organizations pose the greatest threat to the safety and health of our citizens.

“The dedication of all maritime surveillance assets is crucial to the success of the mission at hand, we will continue to work with our counterparts and allocate all our law enforcement resources to make a greater impact in vulnerable areas where criminal organizations dedicated to drug trafficking are causing greater damage.”

The US Coast Guard pointed out that its efforts under Operation Unified Resolve contribute to the interagency results being achieved daily under Operation Caribbean Guard, which coordinates efforts between the Coast Guard, DHS, and Commonwealth and Territorial law enforcement partners, “who are working diligently to deter, detect and disrupt illicit maritime trafficking to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Source: US coast guard