Following a United States Coast Guard-led operation before dawn last Thursday morning off Virgin Gorda, three men were detained by US authorities on suspicion of trafficking cocaine, according to Police Information Officer Diane Drayton.

At least two of the men, who Ms. Drayton did not name, reside in this territory, she stated last Thursday in a WhatsApp message.

On Saturday, the St. Thomas-based VI Daily News reported that one of the men is Venezuelan.


In the operation last Thursday, the USCG was supported by US Customs and Border Protection as well as this territory’s Customs Department and police Marine Branch, according to Ms. Drayton.
The team of law enforcers pursued and stopped a vessel approximately 23 miles east of Virgin Gorda, she added. “A number of bales of suspected cocaine were seized,” she stated, adding that investigations were ongoing.

On Monday, USCG Public Affairs Officer Ricardo Castrodad told the Beacon that the matter is still under investigation, and he declined to provide the suspects’ identities or other information.