San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers seized Sunday 353 pounds (160 kilos) of cocaine prior to be loaded into a private aircraft at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport bound to New York. The estimated value of the seized narcotics is $4 million.
A private aircraft service operator contacted CBP Officers after they encountered extremely heavy items inside the luggage of four passenger destined to New York.
CBP Officers inspected the luggage and discovered what appeared to be solid sealed bricks of suspected narcotics. A CBP canine inspected the items and alerted positive to a smell for which is trained to detect, which field tested positive to cocaine.
CBP Officers arrested the four male passengers who checked in the luggage and chartered the private flight.
The Drug Enforcement Administration assumed custody of the four men and the contraband for investigation and prosecution.
“CBP regularly works with our industry partners to discover nefarious actors attempting to exploit the air transportation system to conceal and move contraband from Puerto Rico into the US mainland,” indicated Edwin Cruz, CBP’s San Juan Area Port Director.
CBP’s mission is to facilitate travel while maintaining the highest standards of security for those who live here and for those who come to visit. On a typical day last year, CBP officers processed more than 1 million travelers arriving airports, seaports or border crossings.