WaExaminer: Puerto Rico has become a hotbed for drug traffickers attempting to smuggle cocaine and heroin from South America to the East Coast of the U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 65,890 pounds of narcotics in and around Puerto Rico from drug cartels and smugglers in fiscal year 2017, more than any previous year on record, according to federal data.
Jeffrey Quinones, public affairs officer for CBP’s Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands outposts, said the eastern Caribbean has served as a trafficking pit stop for decades, but the recent uptick indicates cartels are using the 100-mile-wide island to circumnavigate the southwest border.
“Drug trafficking organizations have always sought to use the Caribbean as a route to smuggle both narcotics and migrants. The logistics to do so are intrinsically more complicated than traversing the southwest border,” Quinones told the Washington Examiner. “Nonetheless, 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.“ keep reading