SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (STL.News) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers, collaborating with the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), seized 44 pounds (20 kilos) of cocaine from departing passengers at the Luis Munoz Marine International Airport during two separate incidents before the Christmas holiday weekend. The estimated value of the seized cocaine is $500,000.
“Our officers’ outstanding ability to collaborate with local law enforcement, along with the utilization of all available tools, resulted in the detection of these narcotics, preventing their entrance into our communities,” stated Roberto Vaquero, Assistant Director of Field Operations for Border Security in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
On Dec. 16 and Dec.19, a PRPD Canine, working with CBP Officers, alerted to pieces of luggage belonging to two different passengers, one male and one female, scheduled to depart to Orlando, Florida.
CBP Officers, along with US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, inspected one piece of luggage finding 12 bricks of a white powdery substance, which tested positive to the properties of cocaine. The seized cocaine weighed 13.23 kilos. In the other suitcase, they found six bricks that weighed 6.8 kilos.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HSI special agents assumed custody of the seized cocaine and arrested the luggage owners, for further investigation and prosecution.
CBP’s mission is to safeguard America’s borders thereby protecting the public from dangerous people and materials while enhancing the Nation’s global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel.