Coast Guard, HSI, CBP Interdict Suspected Smuggler, Migrants, Drugs

MIAMI — The Coast Guard, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) interdicted a sport fisher boat with a suspected smuggler, two migrants, a U.S.-Bahamas dual citizen and 7 kilograms of cocaine Jan. 7 north of Miami, the 7th Coast Guard District said in a release.

At approximately, 5:25 a.m. Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received a report from the Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber crew stating that they spotted an unlit 46-foot sport fisher boat approximately eight miles east of Dania Beach. The Bernard Webber crew interdicted the vessel to find one Bahamian suspected smuggler, two Bahamian migrants and the dual citizen aboard.

The Bernard C. Webber crew embarked the four persons while one of their small-boat crews drove the sport fisher boat to Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale. The Coast Guard, HSI and CBP jointly searched the boat and located 7 kilograms of cocaine. The Bernard Webber crew later transferred the persons to CBP custody.

“Our partnerships with Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations were crucial in the success of this interdiction,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Emily Wilhite, the command duty officer for Coast Guard Sector Miami. “We were able to stop the illegal smuggling of migrants and drugs and will continue to maintain a strong presence in the Florida Straits and Caribbean Sea.”

Federal prosecution has been accepted in the Southern District of Florida.