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Miami Air and Marine Branch Air Assets Detect and Deter Illegal Maritime Migration

Release Date: 
July 2, 2015

MIAMI — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) aircrews and interagency partners detected and safely interdicted more than 130 migrants at sea attempting to reach south Florida shores in a dozen incidents over the past month.

A vessel with migrants aboard detected at sea off the coast of Florida.

A vessel with migrants aboard detected at sea off the coast of Florida.

CBP Miami Air and Marine Branch personnel aboard OAM DHC-8 aircraft detected unseaworthy vessels overloaded with 137 migrants in June. On Monday, an OAM aircrew detected two migrant vessels with a total of 31 Cuban migrants aboard during two separate incidents in waters southwest of Key West, Florida.

Safety of life at sea is always the top priority. OAM maintains an active and fully engaged cadre of coastal patrol vessels and aircraft aggressively patrolling the Florida coastline to detect and deter illegal and unsafe maritime migration.

“Training, skill and commitment of our agents allow us to safely interdict these migrants attempting to enter the country illegally,” said William Gibbon, Director of CBP’s Miami Air and Marine Branch. “Together with other law enforcement partners including the U.S. Coast Guard, state, and local enforcement teams, we work constantly to keep our nation's borders secure."

The mission of the CBP Office of Air and Marine is to serve and protect the American people. OAM applies advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities and employs a unique skill set to preserve America’s security interests.

Community involvement is extremely important to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s mission.  CBP asks you to report maritime smuggling and other suspicious activities through 1-800-BE-ALERT or the after-hours toll-free number, 1-800-562-5943.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017