7 Oct 2010

Drug arrests made in Puerto Rico

11:11 am on 7 October 2010

United States federal agents have arrested more than 60 Puerto Rican police officers on drugs-related charges.

The US Justice Department said the arrests followed "the biggest police corruption investigation in the history of the FBI".

About 750 FBI agents were flown into the territory in the Caribbean to help round up the suspects.

In all, more than 120 people have been charged, including prison guards and soldiers: 60 members of the Puerto Rico police department, 16 municipal police officers and 12 prison officers.

Also arrested were three Puerto Rico national guard soldiers, two US army officers and 30 civilians.

The BBC reports the charges were the result of 125 undercover drugs transactions conducted by the FBI in Puerto Rico.

Many of the detained police officers are accused of providing armed security for cocaine dealers in return for cash.

Puerto Rico is a major hub for smuggling drugs into the United States.