Cocaine found on beach in Mangilao linked to Chinese Vessel

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Guam – Custom’s and Quarantine has provided an update on the cocaine that washed up on shore, but the discovery is raising questions about how secure our waters are from drug traffickers.

On March 17th 4 pounds or two bricks of cocaine washed ashore in Mangilao, following the discovery the DEA indicated that they combed the shores and the surrounding waters for any signs of additional packages but no other packages were found.

And while the DEA could not divulge any information as a result of the ongoing investigation, that doesn’t mean that law enforcement authorities do not have any leads as Customs and Quarantine Director Jim Mcdonald shared this morning on K57’s Patti Arroyo show.

“Right now its still unfounded because its so difficult. I know from what we understand
the parcel had some Chinese markings on it. So we are figuring that it probably came out of a Chinese boat and they threw it along the reef side so that someone else will pick it up,” revealed McDonald.

Since the discovery the Mandana Drug Task Force, along with the DEA and other law enforcement agencies have busted drug dealers and users with cocaine in their possession to date there have been three arrests and more than 50 grams of cocaine and other drugs seized.

GPD has indicated that they are working to identify the source of the cocaine involved in these arrests.

Meanwhile, the washed up coke has even set waves for a new slang term used in reference to the drug, as a PNC source has indicated that coke is now being called “wet” on the streets.

This resurgence of the drug comes 18 years after law enforcement agencies were successful in dismantling the main suppliers and key players in the coke smuggling game.

But as DEA Resident Agent Edward Talbot indicated drug traffickers are continually evolving and looking for ways to smuggle drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine into the island.

The recent discovery of cocaine on Guam’s shore begs the question, how secure are our island’s waters?

“My biggest concern is drugs floating out in the ocean like the one that was found up there at Hawaiian rock and that’s why I made a quick decision with the Coast Guard and said hey man we need eyes. You guys are the law enforcement of the ocean nobody knows the lay of the sea more than the coast guard. So that’s going to be a huge force multiplier for GovGuam and our federal partners here. Now these people will know that we are looking at them out there,” shared the Director.

Other than the port which regularly inspects cargo shipments that come in through air and sea the vast ocean surrounding Guam and limited resources makes this our most vulnerable point of entry.

This however does not mean that our waters are not monitored., while Mcdonald says that Customs and GPD don’t have the large resources and vessels to patrol the waters, according to Talbot the DEA is working with the Coast Guard on maritime efforts and they are working with the resources that are available.

Our soft water borders remain a concern of the Custom’s Director and that’s something they hope to change.

“If we don’t efficiently man the border its going to spill over into the community and that why these resources that we are working with the administration will cover the gaps we will really help the people of Guam,” stressed McDonald

 

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.