Tags: drug cartels | drug smugglers | puerto rico | federal data | us customs and border protection

Federal Data: Drug Trafficking on the Rise in Puerto Rico

Federal Data: Drug Trafficking on the Rise in Puerto Rico

By    |   Monday, 16 April 2018 09:55 AM

Drug cartels and smugglers are ramping up their activities in and around Puerto Rico, federal data and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials report.

"We have seen cyclical increases in the quantity of narcotics brought to these islands and a diversity of means to conceal and enter the product," said Jeffrey Quinones, public affairs officer for Customs and Border Protection’s Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands outposts, in the Washington Examiner.

Federal data shows that customs officers seized 65,890 pounds of narcotics in and around Puerto Rico in fiscal year 2017, more than any previous year on record, the Washington Examiner reported.

The 65,890-pound amount was about 40 percent more than the previous year’s amount captured, the report said.

When Puerto Rico was hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria in summer 2017, traffickers “tried harder” while law enforcement and first response were focused on response and recovery amid the disasters, Quinones said in the Examiner.

Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol officers on the northern and southern borders of Puerto Rico report large drug seizures daily, most of which involve cocaine, the report said.

The lack of awareness by the public in the U.S. is an issue, Puerto Rico officials said in the Examiner. "We have a problem just like any other jurisdiction in the states. It’s just that we don’t get the attention from media in terms of what’s going on in the states," Quinones said in the Examiner.

In March, law enforcement in Puerto Rico reported the biggest drug bust in four years, with $34 million worth of cocaine found in a boat off the island’s north coast, the Washington Examiner reported.

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Drug cartels and smugglers are ramping up their activities in and around Puerto Rico, federal data and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials report.
drug cartels, drug smugglers, puerto rico, federal data, us customs and border protection
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2018-55-16
Monday, 16 April 2018 09:55 AM
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