U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Busts Three Drug Boats in One Week

Image courtesy USCG

Published Aug 9, 2022 4:46 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Joseph Tezanos offloaded 1,100 kilos of seized cocaine from the water in three vessel interdictions off Puerto Rico. The seized cocaine has a value of about $22 million dollars.

Fourteen men, all Dominican Republic nationals, were detained in the three interdictions and are facing federal prosecution in Puerto Rico. 

On August 3, a CBP patrol aircraft crew spotted a suspicious 25-foot boat north of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos, with assistance from the aircrew of a Coast Guard Ocean Sentry aircraft, stopped the boat and apprehended four men. During the interdiction, the smugglers threw their bales of cocaine overboard, and the Tezanos recovered 13 bales from the water with a combined weight of about 750 kilograms.

On July 29, a CBP aircraft spotted a 20-foot suspect vessel northwest of Desecheo Island. Cutter Joseph Tezanos stopped the smuggling vessel, detained four men and recovered eight bales of cocaine from the water. The drugs weighed in at about 200 kilos. 

During the afternoon of July 27, the aircrew of a Coast Guard Ocean Sentry aircraft spotted another 20-foot vessel northwest ofAguadilla, Puerto Rico. Tezanos arrived on scene, apprehended six men and recovered three bales of cocaine weighing about 150 kilos. 

Image courtesy USCG

“I’m proud of the professionalism and performance of the cutter Joseph Tezanos in apprehending 14 smugglers and preventing these drugs from reaching the shores and streets of Puerto Rico," said Capt. José E. Díaz, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan.

Cutter Joseph Tezanos is a fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.