The U.S. Coast Guard transported the suspects, the boat and the rest of the evidence to  Golfito Port, Puntarenas Province.
- U.S. Coast Guard photo -

Published Monday, November 16, 2020

U.S. Coast Guard detains Costa Ricans
suspected of drug trafficking

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Coast Guard officers arrested two Costa Ricans on Friday on suspicion of transporting more than 500 kilos of cocaine.

According to the report of the Drug Control Police, the case began during a routine patrol carried out by the U.S. Coast Guard, near the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

The Coast Guard was crossing international waters of the Pacific Ocean when a ship was detected. The boat detained was registered in Costa Rica under the name of "Pura Vida Tours Bahía II" with the registration plates PQ-8812, the Security Ministry said.

During a more detailed search of the boat, the Coast Guard found bags containing cocaine, for a total shipment of approximately 508 kilos.

The U.S. officers detained the crew of two Costa Ricans, surnamed Espinoza- Porras, 33, and Chinchilla- Araya, 23. Neither of them has a criminal record, the ministry said.

In addition to arresting the suspects, U.S. officials seized the drug, the boat, and $5 in cash.

The U.S. Coast Guard transported the suspects and the rest of the evidence to  Golfito Port, Puntarenas Province, where Costa Rican authorities continued with the case.

The suspects were taken to the cells of the Public Ministry where they were interrogated by the judicial agents and waiting until a judge orders the pre-trial measures against them for the alleged crime of drug trafficking.

Video of the confiscated drugs being delivered to Costa Rican authorities can be seen on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Security.

The joint patrol agreement between the United States and Costa Rica allows the U.S. Coast Guard to patrol, detain suspects, and seize evidence linked to alleged drug trafficking.

In the most recent case of the mutual collaboration the U.S. officials Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, supported officers of the Drug Enforcement Police and the National Coast Guard Service in the arrest of two men suspected of transporting drugs in a sportfishing boat, the Ministry of Security said.

According to the police report, the case began on Oct. 31, when an alert was received by the U.S. officers, about a suspicious sportfishing boat that was crossing Costa Rican waters near
Cobano Coast in Puntarenas.

Costa Rican coast guards located the Costa Rican-flag sportfishing boat manned by a three-man crew. "When they noticed the presence of the Coast Guard officers, they tried to flee," the police said in its report.

After a boat chase in the waters near Tambor Beach, their vessel ran aground near Cobano. However, the three crew members managed to get out of the boat, reach the coast and escape.

The coast guard requested reinforcements from the police officers in the area who managed to arrest two of the suspects who were found near
Tambor Beach.

The two men arrested are Costa Rican nationals, with the surname Medina, 27, and Reyes, 39.

Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials found a cargo of 855 cocaine packages weighing approximately one kilogram on the abandoned boat.

Both the boat and drugs were seized as part of the evidence in the case against the suspects. Then, the sportfishing vessel was transported to the National Coast Guard Service Station in Caldera Port.

The two suspects were jailed in the cells of the Public Ministry where they were interrogated by the judicial agents. A judge ordered the pre-trial jail against them for allegedly transporting drugs.

The judicial agents ask for people to report any suspicion of drug sales, transportation or money laundering to the confidential line 800-8000-645, where there are bilingual agents who can answer calls in English or Spanish.

What else could the U.S. and Costa Rican governments do in the fight against drug trafficking in the country?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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