Feds seize 1,497 pounds of cocaine near coast of Puerto Rico

Feds seize nearly 1,500 pounds of cocaine near coast of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Federal officials have seized 1,497 pounds of cocaine from two boats near the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico, authorities said.

According to a news release, the operation included the efforts of agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, U.S. Coast Guard and police in Puerto Rico. The estimated street value of the narcotics is $17.7 million, the release stated.

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On Sunday, a CBP Air and Marine Operations patrol aircraft sighted two vessels that appeared to be transferring items, the release said.

The Venezuelan-flagged vessel was tracked by the aircraft, and a Coast Guard cutter intercepted one of the ships.

The vessel was taken to Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, where a U.S. Border Patrol K-9 detected the smell of narcotics inside 20 bundles found inside the ship, according to the news release.

Border patrol agents confiscated the drugs, the release stated. The FBI is in charge of the investigation.