AMO Interdicts Vessel Seizing $1.2 Million Near Stumpy Bay St. Thomas; Three Men Arrested
ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents interdicted Wednesday evening a vessel with three men on board, seizing $1.2 million in bulk currency.
“Our vigilance and patrolling operations cover the whole archipelago of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” stated Johnny Morales, Director, Air and Marine Operations for the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch. “We leverage our advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities to detect and interdict them throughout our coastal borders.”
On the evening of Apr. 7, an AMO Marine Patrol Aircraft (MPA) crew detected a 22-foot center console vessel, with 3 persons visible on board, navigating at high speed towards St. Thomas.
The Marine Patrol Aircraft crew maintained surveillance contacting a St Thomas AMO Marine Unit in order to interdict.
AMO Agents reached Stumpy Bay, where they found a Ford Explorer traveling rapidly up a dirt road from the beach. The vehicle occupants fled and a search ensued. AMO Agents discovered 3 bags in the rear compartment which contained bulk U.S. Currency in shrink wrap.
With the assistance of CBP Field Operations, Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and Drug Enforcement Administration agents and officers, three men were arrested.
Homeland Security Investigations assumed custody of the subjects and currency for further investigation.
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft, and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.