SOURCE: CMC – The United States Coast Guard on Friday said it had seized more than 700 pounds of cocaine after intercepting a vessel in the Caribbean Sea.
The Coast Guard said that four men, who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals, had been apprehended when the vessel was intercepted by the Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser and that the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force agents had offloaded 721 pounds of cocaine in the Mona Passage near San Juan, Puerto Rico.
It also said that the men are facing federal prosecution in Puerto Rico for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
The Coast Guard also said that this charge carries carry a minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while an additional charge of assaulting federal officers with a deadly weapon carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment
Meanwhile, the commanding officer of the Cutter Winslow Griesser, Lieutenant Mark Tatara, has commended his team for being instrumental in intercepting the vessel before the drugs could land on Puerto Rico’s shores.
“I cannot be prouder of the Winslow Griesser crew, especially our small boat crew, whose skill and professionalism were instrumental in stopping this drug smuggling go-fast vessel,” he said.
“We appreciate our customs and border protection and our coast guard, who worked seamlessly to ensure a successful outcome in this case that helped keep these drugs from reaching the shores of Puerto Rico and bring those responsible to justice,” he added.