SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico.- For the third time this month, the diligence and commitment to duty of Customs and Border Protection Officers in the San Juan Area Port prevented drug traffickers from using commercial shipments to introduce cocaine through our shores.
Yesterday, while performing inspectional duties on MV CFS Paradero, arriving from Rio Haina, Dominican Republic, CBP Officers assigned to the San Juan Seaport selected various containers for additional examination. Using available technology, they detected anomalies in two of the containers.
When the containers were physically inspected, two bags, believed to contain narcotics, were found inside each container. On one of the containers the two bags contained a total of 32 packages that when field tested proved positive for cocaine, with an approximate weigh of 35 kilograms (77 pounds).
On the second container, 60 packages, with an approximate weigh of 67 kilograms (148 pounds), also tested positive for cocaine.
The container cargo description on one of the containers was “napkins” and on the other “Calcium Carbonate”.
Estimated street value for the seizures is $2,224,000.
The custody of the duffle bags and the contraband was transferred to ICE Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.
Last Thursday, CBP also seized 28 kilos (61.73 pounds) of cocaine and 5.53 kilos (12.19 pounds) of heroin inside a container on board the M/V Maesk Tarragona arriving from Caucedo, Dominican Republic. On April 4, 28.5 kilos of cocaine (63 pounds) were seized on board the vessel M/V Freemantle Express also arriving from Caucedo.
“Every day, our officers work tirelessly to protect our nation from those that intend to do us harm by introducing dangerous drugs that could end up in our streets and communities and harm our families. Customs and Border Protection will not tire in the pursuit of those that break our laws and attempt to use commercial shipments to accomplish their damaging goals,” said Port Director for the San Juan Area Port, Maria Palmer.
“We have stepped up our inspection of cargo through a risk-management based, layered enforcement approach closing routes for smugglers,” indicated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk cargo, including advanced electronic information about every cargo shipment to the U.S. before it arrives.
CBP’s dual mission is to facilitate travel and trade in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband. CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of U.S. law.