San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered 7.3 kilograms (16 pounds) of heroin concealed within a vehicle arriving from the Dominican Republic on the ferry on Monday.
While performing inbound inspections of passenger vehicles that arrived from Dominican Republic onboard the M/V Caribbean Fantasy, CBP officers performed a thorough inspection of one of the vehicles and discovered, hidden within it, 9 packages of a substance which subsequently field tested positive for the properties of heroin. The heroin weighed approximately 16 pounds, with an estimated value of $420,000.
Customs and Border Protection officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, Jaironel Lajara, 23, a United States citizen and resident of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is leading an investigation and presented charges against Mr. Lajara for consideration by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, which accepted prosecution. Another individual has been arrested in connection with this incident.
CBP uses sophisticated methods to identify and target potentially high-risk passengers and cargo, including advanced electronic information about every passenger and cargo shipment entering into the U.S. before their arrival. “CBP officers remain vigilant in the protection of our borders and will continue to use their training and expertise to detect those that intend to introduce contraband through our borders”, stated San Juan Area Port Director Juan Hurtado.