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The boat caught by the Coast Guard had people. Did it also have $3 million in drugs?

The Coast Guard claims this boat was attempting to smuggle people and drugs into the United States.
The Coast Guard claims this boat was attempting to smuggle people and drugs into the United States. U.S. Coast Guard cutter Heriberto Hernandez

A boat in the waters between the Dominican Republic and Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico, was doing some multi-tasking smuggling this week, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

On the human side, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez could clearly see 35 people from the Dominican Republic aboard the boat 34 miles west of Desecheo Island.

But the Coast Guard said the crew also found a backpack with four kilos of heroin floating near the boat. That didn’t seem to be a coincidence, especially as four kilos exceeds any reasonable personal use.

According to the most recent prices quoted in the DEA and Department of Justice’s 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, a gram of pure heroin went for $902 at the end of 2016. So a kilogram would be worth $902,000 and four kilos would be worth $3,608,000.

The Coast Guard said 27 of the Dominican migrants were taken back to the Dominican Republic on Thursday. The other eight were held by the Justice Department’s Puerto Rico office.

“One of the individuals is a suspected smuggler who is being investigation for participation in prior smuggling operations in which several migrants lost their lives,” the Coast Guard release says.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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