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Friday, March 1, 2024
HomeNewsPolice & CourtsFeds Pluck $2.25 Million from Sea

Feds Pluck $2.25 Million from Sea

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol – Air Marine Operations pulled $2.25 million from the Caribbean between St. Thomas and Puerto Rico, according to U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Shappert said the Department of Homeland Security and Customs Border Patrol – Air Marine Operation personnel reported that while on duty in the western vicinity of St. Thomas, they spotted a vessel traveling towards St. Thomas from Puerto Rico without navigational lights. Officers observed two subjects on the unknown vessel, which was described as a 25-foot, twin-engine “yola,” tossing duffle bags overboard as CBP-AMO approached.

Federal law enforcement officers gave chase and attempted to board the unidentified vessel. The vessel was able to evade law enforcement during the pursuit.

However, CBP-AMO officers later recovered four duffel bags that had been thrown overboard. A search of the four recovered duffel bags revealed approximately $2.25 million in bulk U.S. currency that had been vacuum-sealed within numerous bundles of plastic wrappings.

Shappert said the seizure was part of an ongoing joint federal initiative between the United States Attorney’s Office District of the Virgin Islands, HSI, DEA, FBI, ATF, IRS-CI and CBP-AMO as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which is focused on disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations in the Caribbean, and which seeks to seize and forfeit the proceeds of criminal activity.

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