USCG Intercepts 250-Kilo Cocaine Shipment off Dominican Republic

Image courtesy USCG

Published Sep 28, 2021 9:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark recently delivered two smugglers and 250 kilos of cocaine to Coast Guard Base San Juan after an interdiction of a go-fast boat off Puerto Rico. 

During a patrol on Wednesday, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft spotted a suspected go-fast vessel at a position about 145 nautical miles south of the Dominican Republic, and Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Kathleen Moore to carry out an interdiction. Using the cutter’s small boat, the crew of the Kathleen Moore intercepted the 25-foot vessel and found two men and 10 bales of suspected contraband onboard. The cargo tested positive for cocaine.

The two suspected smugglers are Dominican Republic nationals, and they have been were charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The drugs have an estimated wholesale value of about $7.5 million dollars. 

"The crew did a great job working with interagency partners and Coast Guard watchstanders preventing this drug smuggling go-fast from making landfall," said Lt. Andrew R. Collins, cutter Kathleen Moore's commanding officer. "We are glad to help keep these drugs off the streets."

The seized drugs and detainees were transferred to the cutter Heriberto Hernandez, then transferred again to the 87-foot cutter Reef Shark for transport to Puerto Rico. At the pier in San Juan, federal agents from the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force took the suspects into custody.