On May 17, 2015, shortly before midnight, and pursuant to a bilateral agreement with British Customs and Immigration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Interdiction Agents onboard a marine interceptor vessel entered British Virgin Islands territorial waters and engaged in a pursuit of a suspect smuggling vessel. During the pursuit, an occupant began firing shots at the Marine Interdiction Agents. The agents returned fire, wounding that suspect. Agents boarded the vessel, and provided medical care. The suspect was transported to a local area hospital and later pronounced deceased. British Customs arrested the two additional suspects, seized the vessel, and 16 bales of suspected cocaine. A CBP Use of Force Incident Team, and Royal Virgin Islands Police Force are investigating the incident.
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, with 1,200 federal agents, more than 250 aircraft, and more than 280 marine vessels operating from 91 locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
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.