U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents intercepted an overloaded vessel of illegal migrants traveling from the Bahamas to the Haulover Inlet in Miami-Dade County on Sunday.
The incident began when marine interdiction agents (MIA) from the Miami Marine Unit were contacted to investigate a possible migrant smuggling attempt in the area of Baker’s Haulover. The CBP DHC-8 aircrew requested an interdiction of a 30-foot 1996 Scarab twin-engine vessel that was seen carrying several people onboard. The vessel anchored just inside the Haulover Inlet sandbar, where the vessel’s passengers disembarked and attempted to blend in with nearby boaters.
As agents got close to the suspect vessel, some passengers jumped into the water and attempted to flee CBP agents. MIAs, along with local law enforcement, proceeded to apprehend the suspected smugglers and eight individuals traveling abroad the vessel.
“This coordinated use of AMO’s air and marine assets is a shining example of our ability to detect and interdict vessels at sea,” Tony Arevalo, director of marine operations for CBP’s Miami Air and Marine Branch, said. “We’ll continue to aggressively patrol to prevent illegal maritime activity.”
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 the nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry.