Tw suspected drug traffickers killed in shootout with US Customs and Border Protection agents

Two suspected drug traffickers have been killed during a shootout with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents off the coast of Puerto Rico, officials say.

Jeffrey Qui?ones, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told the Associated Press that the incident happened early Sunday when federal agents detected a suspicious boat at sea and a chase ensued.

The chase ended when the suspected drug traffickers shot at the federal agents, who returned fire, Qui?ones said.

Two of the six suspects aboard were killed and the remaining four were arrested, he added. No federal agent was injured.

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Federal agents wait for news of their injured colleagues outside the Rio Piedras Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 17, 2022, following a shooting off Puerto Rico’s southwest coast that left an agent and a suspected drug smuggler dead.
(Courtesy of Carlos Giusti/GFR Media via AP)

Qui?ones said drugs were found aboard the boat and in the water, while the nationalities of the suspects had not been confirmed.

Qui?ones did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday from Fox News Digital for further information.

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The FBI – which is reported to be investigating the shooting – would not comment when reached by Fox News Digital.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detected a suspicious boat at sea, which prompted the chase and shootout, officials say.
(Stephanie Bennett/Fox News)

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The deadly chase came two months after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent and a suspected drug smuggler died in a shootout off Puerto Rico’s southwest coast. Two other agents were injured and hospitalized in that incident.

Puerto Rico is a popular transit point for drugs coming out of South America, according to The Associated Press. Agents seized $26 million worth of cocaine in October near the island of Vieques and a cargo worth $9 million aboard a boat in December during a routine cargo inspection in the capital of San Juan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.