MIAMI—On February 12, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) DHC-8 aircraft conducting an operation near Bimini, Bahamas, assisted the Joint Inter Agency Task Force-South in searching for a go-fast vessel which was suspected of transporting narcotics.
"The coordinated effort of CBP Office of Air and Marine personnel working in conjunction with the Joint Inter Agency Task Force-South, the U.S. Coast Guard, Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos, and local Bahamian law enforcement partners brought this case to a positive conclusion," said Leslie Jones, Director, Air Operations at the Miami Air and Marine Branch, Miami, Fla.
CBP located the go-fast vessel with three persons on board and coordinated with Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos, which launched a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and a Bahamian surface asset to interdict the vessel. CBP vectored both assets to the suspect vessel and observed the crew dumping packages overboard. The suspect vessel headed north of Bimini and ran aground, and the occupants fled the scene. Bahamian police recovered 36 bales of marijuana worth $2.7 million and is continuing the search for suspects.
The interdiction was carried out as part of Operation Martillo, an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and Western Hemisphere and European partner national agencies to counter illicit trafficking of drug, weapons and cash through the Central American littorals.
The CBP Office of Air and Marine is the world's largest aviation and maritime law enforcement organization with more than 1,200 federal agents, operating from 30 air and marine locations, with 260 aircraft and 290 maritime vessels.
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.