U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  1. Home
  2. Newsroom
  3. Local Media Release
  4. CBP Air and Marine Operations in Bellingham helps Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office locate armed robbery suspect

CBP Air and Marine Operations in Bellingham helps Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office locate armed robbery suspect

Release Date

BELLINGHAM, Wash.  — U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO), Bellingham Air and Marine Branch conducted aerial surveillance, in coordination with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office in locating an armed robbery suspect, who was considered armed and dangerous.

hiding in ditch
An AS350 crew  from the CBP Air and Marine Operations,
Bellingham Air and Marine Branch spotted a
robbery suspect, who was considered armed
and dangerous, hiding in a ditch. The aircrew led
sheriff’s personnel on the ground to the man’s location
and he was taken into custody.

AMO became involved in the incident at approximately 11:35 p.m. Monday after receiving an after-hours aerial surveillance request from the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office to search for an armed suspect. The request originated from an earlier pursuit by the sheriff’s office of a vehicle with three occupants suspected of being involved in the armed robbery of two separate marijuana retail centers in Bellingham and Ferndale.

The sheriff’s office apprehended two of the suspects after deploying stop-sticks, which disabled the vehicle. The third suspect fled into thick vegetation. At this time, the sheriff’s office coordinated with AMO to search for the remaining suspect. At about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch began searching the area with an AS350 helicopter after more than an hour and a half of searching the sheriff’s office, in coordination with AMO, called off the request for aerial surveillance.

Later Wednesday afternoon, an AMO AS350 helicopter crew was conducting a border security flight when the crew received a request from the sheriff’s office to search for the remaining suspect, who a concerned citizen spotted north of Ferndale.

The AS350 crew searched the woods and spotted the suspect hiding in a ditch. The aircrew led sheriff’s personnel on the ground to the man’s location and he was taken into custody.

“The Bellingham Air and Marine Branch strives to protect this nation from all threats, oftentimes that involves working together with our local law enforcement partners to apprehend wanted individuals,” said Jeremy Thompson, Director, Air and Marine Operations, Bellingham Air and Marine Branch. “This latest incident is a testament to the dedication of Air and Marine Operations personnel to keeping our communities safe.”

Last Modified: February 3, 2021