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HomeNewsPolice & CourtsThree Charged with Possessing Over 1,000 Kilograms of Cocaine

Three Charged with Possessing Over 1,000 Kilograms of Cocaine

Three Dominican Republic nationals – Edwin Vargas, 31, Dany Perez-Brito, 44, and Lenin Cornelio-Perez, 32 – were charged with conspiracy to possess and possession of a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Monday.

The three men made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Saturday. After preliminary and detention hearings on Monday, Miller ordered all three men detained.

The complaint alleges that Vargas, Perez-Brito, and Cornelio-Perez were aboard a go-fast boat detected by aircraft personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard about 65 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico, navigating on a southerly course. The vessel did not display any indicia of nationality. Following detection by the USCG, the go-fast boat changed course, and two USCG cutters were diverted to intercept it. The vessel led authorities on a 10-hour high-speed chase in international waters between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Approximately 96 nautical miles north of St. Thomas, the go-fast boat’s engines malfunctioned, leaving the vessel dead in the water. USCG authorities proceeded to board the vessel at 2:18 a.m. on Dec. 11th and discovered 52 bales, approximately 1,132 kilograms, of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine, Shappert’s news release said.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the USCG, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations and Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith J. Edwards.

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