MIAMI— On July 16, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine and the U.S. Coast Guard interdicted a twin engine ‘go-fast’ boat with 34 Cuban migrants, as the vessel entered U.S. waters south of Marquesas Key West. The covert operation consisted of both OAM and USCG aircraft and vessels tracking the go-fast throughout the day and night, as the boat made a northerly run toward U.S. waters.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., the go-fast began a northerly run toward the U.S., while the OAM Marine Interceptor and USCG Cutter Sawfish remained in trailing positions. An additional OAM Marine Interceptor from Key West launched and all law enforcement assets followed the target on a northerly route. At approximately 9:45 p.m., just 11 miles south of Marquesas Key West, the go-fast boat crossed the 12-mile boundary into U.S. waters. Subsequently, the two OAM interceptors overtook the go-fast and stopped it without incident. The USCG retained custody of the 10 female and 24 male migrants for possible repatriation.
The ‘go-fast’ is a small, fast boat designed with a long narrow platform and a planing hull to enable it to reach high speeds. These high speed boats are descendant from ‘rum-runners’ during the Prohibition era used to transfer rum from larger vessels waiting outside the territorial waters of the U.S. Today, smugglers use them to transport different types of contraband – drugs and illegal aliens.
The Office of Air and Marine is the world’s largest aviation and maritime law enforcement organization, and is a critical component of CBP’s layered enforcement strategy for border security. OAM is uniquely positioned to provide direct air and maritime support to multiple agencies and to ensure the success of border protection and law enforcement operations between ports of entry, within the maritime operating areas and within the nation’s interior.