63 arrested in Puerto Rico on drug charges

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in Puerto Rico said Wednesday that they have arrested 63 people accused of running a $10 million drug-trafficking operation in the island's second largest city.

U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said the suspects are accused of trafficking crack, heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription medication in the southern coastal city of Ponce. She said the suspects began operating the ring in 2003 at a public housing project.

Puerto Rico police and agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration carried out the arrests with help from other federal and local authorities.

Also on Wednesday, the FBI announced two arrests in an unrelated case involving more than $7 million worth of cocaine.

FBI spokesman Moises Quinones said one of suspects charged had jumped from a boat that authorities detected traveling toward Puerto Rico's south coast late last year. He said the other suspect was one of eight people awaiting the alleged drug shipment at a beach in the island's southern region.

Quinones said some 318 kilograms (700 pounds) of cocaine had been found in the boat.