Coast guard station commander linked to drug ring

Anti-drug agents have detained the commander of the Quepos coast guard station on allegations that he was involved with a cocaine smuggling operation.

He is Óscar Rodríguez Madrigal, a 16-year veteran of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas. Agents link him to a ring of smugglers who were detained last month. They said that the role of Rodríguez was to assign coast guard patrols in areas other than where smugglers were traveling.

The man was detained in his office in Quepos. The organized crime prosecutor’s office said that the man was involved with the ring that moved 3,115 kilos of drugs from Colombia to Central America. Some was  bound for the United States, and some was for the local drug market, they said at the time. The investigation and arrest was an embarrassment for the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública to which the coast guard belongs.

The minister quickly issued a release noting the arrest was made by its Policía de Control de Drogas.

The ring began to unravel last month when agents discovered drugs in a Manuel Antonio dwelling called Villas Pájaro Azul #4.

They found drugs in the dwelling and in vehicles that had visited the place, they said.

Counting the coast guard official, there have been 10 arrests connected with the case.

Rodríguez served on both the Caribbean coast and elsewhere on the Pacific during his career.

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