Coast Guard

Coast Guard offloads a $51 million in cocaine in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo by Ricardo Castrodad 
U.S. Coast Guard District 7 PADET San Juan 

Summarization of events written by the Veteran X Team.

Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge crew on Friday unloaded approximately 1,700 kilograms of cocaine seized at a Coast Guard base in San Juan, following a plot to smuggle US Coast Guard and US government vessels to the Islands British Virgin Islands near Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

This disruption and seizure was the result of multi-agency efforts involving the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force. The cocaine seized was worth an estimated $51 million.

During a routine patrol on the night of August 27, 2021, the Richard Etheridge Coast Guard responded to the sight of a suspiciously fast vessel in waters northeast of the British Virgin Islands. . Coast Guard guards in the San Juan area led the launch of Coast Guard MH60T aircraft from Borinquen Air Force Base to plot the Richard Etheridge cutter vector to the ship’s location. fast. In addition, the Coast Guard and British Virgin Islands authorities have maintained contact to ban the suspicious vessel Gofast. As cutter Richard Etheridge approached the fast ship, the smugglers proceeded to dump their cargo and flee the area at high speed. The Coast Guard helicopter crew then assisted cutter Richard Etheridge in locating the dropped cargo. In total, cutter Richard Etheridge’s crew recovered 57 bullets that tested positive for cocaine.

“Despite the challenging sea state conditions and thanks to the close collaboration and coordination with our Royal Virgin Islands Police partners, our crews did an outstanding job in disrupting a major shipment of cocaine and keeping it from ever reaching the streets,” said Capt. Gregory H. Magee, Sector San Juan commander.  “Our strong partnerships, as in the case of the British Virgin Islands and island nations throughout our area of responsibility, are key to achieving safe and secure maritime borders from drug trafficking and other smuggling threats in the Eastern Caribbean.”

“This is a great example of the close working relationship between the U.S. and the UK overseas territories,” said Detective Inspector Mike Jones, Head of Intelligence for the Royal Virgin Islands Police. “The excellent work of the U.S. Coast Guard forced the crew of the go-fast vessel to jettison their cargo. We will continue to work closely with all agencies and partners in order to disrupt and detect the movement of narcotics, illegal money and people trafficking.”

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Information vetted by the Veteran X Team.