MIAMI - Two men who attempted to illegally smuggle cocaine into the U.S. were found guilty of drug trafficking Wednesday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Paulo Rosario and Alejandro Martinez were detected by a Coast Guard aircraft 32 nautical miles south of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, traveling east towards Puerto Rico on Aug. 16, 2012.
As the aircraft approached the vessel, the men jettisoned four bales of contraband into the water. The Coast Guard aircrew marked the location where the bales were jettisoned and continued to follow the vessel toward the Dominican Republic.
While continuing their pursuit of the vessel, the Coast Guard notified the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, who deployed a law enforcement vessel to recover the abandoned bales.
The smuggling vessel was intercepted and stopped by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing, 37 nautical miles south of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.
CBP officers recovered four bales which contained 66 bricks of cocaine, which weighed more than 76 kilograms (approximately 35 pounds).
"This case highlights the effectiveness of our inter-agency partnerships and reinforces the federal government's commitment to stopping drug trafficking in the Caribbean and reducing the violent crime rate in Puerto Rico," said Rear Adm. Jake Korn, commander U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District.
Both Rosario and Martinez were found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms or more of cocaine into the U.S. from a place outside the U.S. The men have not yet been sentenced. They face a minimum of 10 years to life in prison.
See more at: http://d7.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/1864438/Cocaine-smugglers-found-guilty-of-trafficking-#sthash.hTgXpqTF.dpuf