CBP Air and Marine Operations Assists with Sex Trafficking Rescues and Arrests
TRENTON, S.C. — A CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) flight crew, assigned to the Jacksonville Air and Marine Branch, assisted Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Aiken County Sheriff’s office on a sex-trafficking investigation in Trenton, South Carolina on April 3.
An AMO AS350 A-Star helicopter crew conducted aerial surveillance and overhead watch as HSI and Aiken County SWAT entered the property in a rural area of South Carolina. The property consisted of a primary residence and three trailers.
The AMO AS350 crew provided overhead watch and perimeter security during the enforcement action to eliminate the potential of fleeing felons. Officer safety was imperative during the operation due to numerous confined entries and the possibility of retaliation from the subjects.
The AMO flight crew identified a white sedan leaving the property prior to SWAT entry. The vehicle was stopped after exiting, and resulted in two felony arrests. During SWAT entry of the target location, three additional felony arrests were made and three female sex-trafficking victims were rescued. The investigation and search is ongoing, which may lead to more arrests or rescues.
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. AMO interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigates criminal networks and provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national taskings. 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 serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2018, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of 283,503 pounds of cocaine, 301,553 pounds of marijuana, 108,444 pounds of methamphetamine, 872 weapons, and $34.2 million; 2,373 arrests; and 47,744 apprehensions of illegal aliens.
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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.