Chase at sea results in capture of supected marijuana boat

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo Guardacostas officer keeps crew of fastboat under guard.

The situation may seem like bringing coal to Newcastle, but a combined effort between the United States and Costa Rica resulted in the capture of six men in a fastboat Tuesday night.

Unlike most fastboats that carry north cocaine from Colombia, this one was carrying marijuana south to Limón.

The Talamanca mountains are full of marijuana plants, but the security ministry said that the marijuana was being imported because local police are doing such a good job controlling local supplies. Another possibility is that the marijuana, believed to have originated in Jamaica, is of a stronger variety called hi red.

A U.S. patrol craft spotted the fastboat offshore and gave chase. A boat of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas intercepted the craft and brought it to shore. During the chase, it appears that the crew, three Costa Ricans and three Nicaraguans, dumped the cargo into the sea. Law officers were trying to recover the load some 180 kilometers (112 miles) at sea. Aircraft of the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea, also were involved in the chase.

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