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Coast Guard arrests four, seizes 3545 pounds of cocaine near Puerto Rico

Law-enforcement officials say they seized more than 3,545 pounds of cocaine from a drug-smuggling vessel off the coast of Puerto Rico earlier this week.

According to a report from the U.S. Coast Guard, that agency — along with Border Protection and Puerto Rico Police maritime law-enforcement units — intercepted and seized the drugs off the coast of Rio Grande on Monday. Four alleged smugglers also were arrested, the Coast Guard said.

The suspected smugglers were turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, according to the Coast Guard report.

Coast Guard officials say the crew of a Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft detected a 35-foot “go-fast” vessel in the dark and not using navigational lights off Dorado on Sunday night. The Coast Guard responded by diverting a Coast Guard 33-foot response boat and the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez to catch up to the suspect vessel. An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft assisted with aerial surveillance, too, and Customs and Border Protection and Puerto Rico Police marine units also responded, according to the report.

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