CHARLOTTE AMALIE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents seized a St. Thomas aircraft on Tuesday suspected of having been used for smuggling events.
During an arrest conducted in the fall of 2021, AMO agents working with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents detected items in connection with past aviation smuggling events.
Through investigation of the arrested subject, agents learned an aircraft operated by the suspect had been flown by individuals without valid pilots’ licenses, violating federal aviation laws.
“This seizure highlights the dedication and diligence of our agents,” said Director Air and Marine Operation, Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, Augusto Reyes. “This case has taken months of work, but that effort is resulting in the prevention of potentially dangerous aircraft operation and end to the use of this smuggling vehicle.”
AMO agents located the aircraft at the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas and seized it in accordance with federal law.
An investigation connected to the seized aircraft and suspect is currently ongoing.