Dominican Republic detains 35 soldiers and police, 4 French citizens in drug investigation

The Dominican National Drug Control agency says 35 soldiers and police officers have been arrested in a crackdown on drug smuggling to Europe.

Drug control chief Rolando Rosado says four French citizens were also arrested. Authorities say the four were attempting to fly 710 kilograms (1,562 pounds) of cocaine to Paris on a French-registered private plane from the resort area of Punta Cana when they were arrested.

Rosado said at a news conference Thursday that those detained include a lieutenant colonel in the air force as well as customs drug agents based at the main international airport in Santo Domingo.

The investigation began after officials in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and other countries reported confiscating large amounts of cocaine from flights from the Dominican Republic.