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4 Smugglers, over 2,000 pounds of cocaine intercepted in Caribbean Sea Loop Barbados

Four smugglers were apprehended when Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier crew and US Customs and Border Protection multi-role enforcement aircraft interdicted their smuggling vessel in the Caribbean Sea with more than 2,024 pounds of cocaine on board.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier (WPC 1115) seized the drugs in Caribbean Sea international waters south of Puerto Rico on June 18, 2023. The drugs, which were offloaded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, June 26, are reportedly worth more than USD $23 million.

The interdiction is the result of multi-agency efforts involving the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.

According to the United States Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security website:

“This crew never ceases to amaze with their dedication and relentless work ethic, especially our pursuit team who swiftly interdicted and stopped another drug-smuggling vessel from making it to Puerto Rico,” said Lt. DeVonte Weems, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier commanding officer. “This was a smooth interdiction made possible by the great work of the Napier crew, US Customs and Border Protection Caribbean Air & Marine Branch, and Sector San Juan Command Center personnel.”

“The commitment and resolve of the Coast Guard and our US and local law enforcement partners in interdicting drug smuggling vessels at sea is unwavering,” said Capt. Jos? E. D?az, Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander. “Our guardians risk their lives daily to safeguard the people of in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands from this threat and prevent illegal narcotics from reaching US shores.”

Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier crewmembers offload approximately 2,024 pounds of cocaine, estimated to have a wholesale value of $23 million dollars, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 26, 2023

The four suspected smugglers are one Colombian, one Dominican Republic and two Venezuelan nationals. The four now face prosecution by the Department of Justice in the US Federal District Court in Puerto Rico.

The Transnational Organized Crime Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution for this case, while Special Agents supporting the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force are leading the investigation.