KEY WEST, Fla. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents with the Key West Marine Unit and law enforcement partners intercepted a stolen vessel heading south off the coast of Key West on Sept. 17.
The Key West Marine Unit responded as part of a coordinated effort with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aircraft tracked the vessel and maintained overhead surveillance. CBP Marine Interdiction Agents onboard a marine interceptor intercepted the vessel following a brief pursuit. Authorities took a man onboard the vessel into custody.
“This is another example of Air and Marine working with an ever-expanding network of interagency partners in South Florida to address illicit activity and keep our maritime borders secure,” said Tony Arevalo, Director of Marine Operations for CBP’s Miami Air and Marine Branch. “Close partnerships and vigilance by our agents are crucial in preventing illegal activity along the coastline.”
The Florida Keys Marine Units of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, have extensively partnered and worked closely alongside with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Highway Patrol and the U.S Coast Guard to aggressively fight against vessel thefts in the South Florida area of responsibility.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine is a critical component of CBP's risk-based and layered approach for border security. OAM maintains an active and fully engaged cadre of coastal patrol vessels and aircraft aggressively patrolling the Florida coastline to detect and deter illegal activity.
To report suspicious maritime activity: Call 800 BE ALERT or (800) 232-5378.
Find out more about CBP operations in Florida by visiting @CBPFlorida on Twitter.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.