Press Release
July 20, 2021
US Coast Guard crew seizes US$15 million in cocaine

SAN JUAN – The United States Coast Guard says the crew of the cutter Joseph Tezanos has offloaded nearly US$15 million in seized cocaine and transferred custody of two male smugglers at Coast Guard Base San Juan, following the interdiction of a go-fast vessel in the Mona Passage waters in the Caribbean Sea near Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

“The interdiction resulted from multi-agency efforts in support of US Southern Command’s enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere and coordination with the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF),” the US Coast Guard said.

It said the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico is leading the prosecution for this case.

During a routine patrol Saturday afternoon, the US Coast Guard said a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) aircrew detected two men

aboard a go-fast vessel suspected of drug trafficking.

It’s reported that the coast guard cutter Joseph Tezanos, was operating in the vicinity when it was diverted and responded in hot pursuit to interdict the suspect vessel.

“Shortly thereafter, cutter Joseph Tezanos arrived on scene and interdicted the go-fast vessel with the assistance of the cutter’s small boat,” it added.

“The crew of cutter Joseph Tezanos embarked the suspected smugglers and located loose packages aboard the 24-foot go-fast vessel, and they also recovered packages from the water that were jettisoned from the go-fast vessel.”