Tiny island in Caribbean yields hidden stash of marijuana

After finding the hidden packages of marijuana, officers had to put the drug in bags and label them as evidence.
Officials said there might be more than the 905 kilos on the island. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Paul Gamboa

A lengthy investigation resulted in a law enforcement raid Monday on the Isla Uvita at Limón. There officers uncovered at least 905 kilos of marijuana believed to have been imported from Jamaica. The security ministry said that seven persons were arrested.

The investigation included the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas, the Judicial Investigating Organization and other agencies.

The island is just 420 meters (1,379 feet) long and 315 meters (1,033 feet) wide, according to online sources. The island is less that 3,000 feet off shore in the Caribbean. Photos released by the security ministry showed a large dwelling on the island. There also is a concrete dock in one photo.

This is the point where Christopher Columbus made repairs on
his ships during his fourth and final voyage to the New World.

Officials said that they might find more of the marijuana packages.

Importing marijuana is a relatively new crime. Much of the southern part of Limón province is prime marijuana-growing territory because there are high mountains and hidden valleys.

Fuerza Pública officers find, uproot and burn thousands of marijuana plants there each year.

However, smugglers have taken to importing more potent varieties from Jamaica. Frequently small boats used by smugglers are caught at sea by combined U.S. and Costa Rica patrols. One boat crew fell into police hands, and U.S. Navy and Coast Guard crewmen at sea recovered more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana that eventually was turned over to prosecutors here.

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