US Coast Guard seizes over a tonne of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea

One U.S. Coast Guard and one Navy vessel seized around 1.110 kilograms of cocaine worth approximately $32.7 million dollars in an April 7 operation in the Caribbean Sea.

During a routine patrol on April 7, the crew of a maritime patrol aircraft flying in support of JIATF-S detected a suspicious 30-foot blue-hulled go-fast vessel with four men and possible contraband on board.

The go- fast vessel was detected approximately 150 nautical miles south of La Romana, Dominican Republic. Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan working in coordination with JIATF-S, diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon and the USS Shamal to interdict the suspect vessel.

USCGC Richard Dixon and USS Shamal deployed their over the horizon boats to interdict the suspect vessel. The crew of the Richard Dixon’s cutter boat arrived on scene and fired warning shots that stopped the go-fast. A Coast Guard boarding team from the Richard Dixon located 35 bales of suspected contraband hidden inside the go-fast’s hull, which later tested positive for cocaine.

The suspected smugglers, a Colombian and three Venezuelan men, along with the contraband, were transferred to the U.S. Department of Justice, Southern District of Florida for prosecution.

This interdiction is a result of a combined effort between the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S), the U.S. Coast Guard, and our international partners to combat illicit drugs being trafficked into the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico as part of Operation Unified Resolve.

“Our strong interagency and international partnerships and collective resolve continue to yield positive results in stemming the flow of illicit contraband in the Caribbean and protecting our shores from this common threat,” said Capt. Robert W. Warren, Coast Guard Sector San Juan Commander.