Border Protection Seizes Aircraft

This airplane was recently seized on St. Thomas. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized an aircraft the agency says is suspected of having been used for smuggling.

During an arrest conducted in the fall of 2021, Border Protection agents working with Drug Enforcement Administration agents and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigation agents detected items in connection with past aviation smuggling events, according to a release from Customs and Border Protection.

According to the agency, through investigation of the arrested subject, agents learned an aircraft operated by the suspect had been flown by individuals allegedly without valid pilots’ licenses, violating federal aviation laws.

“This seizure highlights the dedication and diligence of our agents,” said Augusto Reyes, director of the Caribbean and Marine Branch Air and Marine Operation. “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.”

Investigation connected to the aircraft and suspect is reportedly ongoing.