ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous offloaded approximately $23 million estimated wholesale value of cocaine Tuesday after they returned from a 40-day patrol.
The 700 kilograms of cocaine were seized in support of Operation Caribbean Guard.
On Oct. 11, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a report from a Caribbean Air Marine Branch (CAMB) maritime patrol aircraft crew of a suspicious 35-foot go-fast vessel south of the Dominican Republic. The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous was diverted to respond. Upon detection, the crew aboard the go-fast vessel began jettisoning packages over board. The crew of the Venturous recovered 28 bales which later tested positive for cocaine.
Operation Caribbean Guard is a Department of Homeland Security multi-agency law enforcement operation to support ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands being executed under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).
The Coast Guard supports this initiative, under Operation Unified Resolved, by forward deploying Coast Guard resources and capabilities from the United States, such as HC-130 and HC-144 maritime patrol aircraft and additional Coast Guard cutters, to augment locally assigned federal resources and strengthen patrol efforts to deter, detect and disrupt illicit migrant trafficking in and around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.