Anti-drug agents detained five persons and conducted six raids to wrap up a complex marijuana smuggling and growing organization with links to Colombia and Jamaica, they said. One of the persons arrested was a Fuerza Pública officer based in La Florida de Siquirres, Limón.
This is the ring that has been responsible for a number of fast boats trying to evade Costa Rican, U.S. and British warships in the Caribbean. The investigation has been a year long and included the discovery of nine kilos of marijuauna on a San José-Limón bus when it was searched in Tibás.
The Policía de Control de Drogas also reported that the ring was responsible for a hydroponics operation to grow marijuana in Sabanilla de Montes de Oca. One of the men detained Tuesday was a refrigeration technician who agents said was responsible for keeping the equipment there running. Another person arrested was the individual in charge of the growing operation, they said.
The ring was linked to a Feb. 8 case in which the the “USS Legare” chased a Costa Rican boat, the “Blessing,” 100 miles off shore in the Caribbean. Feb. 28 some 3,600 kilos of marijuana were confiscated from a vehicle near Tuba Creek, Limón, said agents.
There also was a boat pursuit in September 2012 when the suspect vessel sunk.
The ring was said to be the major distributor of marijuana in the Central Valley. Raids Tuesday were conducted in Heredia, Escazú and Limón.
The detained police officer was identified by the last names of Fuentes Montoya. He is being accused of helping the leaders of the ring avoid justice, agents said.
Two brothers with the last name of Brown were identified as the leaders. They also were detained Tuesday.