Protecting our coastal borders, Customs agents on lookout for illegal activity

Customs agents on the lookout for illegal activity. (WPEC)

Protecting our borders, trying to keep drugs and guns from poisoning our community. Right now, Customs Border Protection Air Marine agents are ramping up patrols in our area to keep us safe.

Thursday, Customs Border Protection Air Marine agent Joshua Williams hit the high seas near the Lake Worth Inlet with his bulletproof vest on and weapon at the ready. I asked what the badge he wore on his uniform meant to him.

“It’s a representation of my commitment to serving others and serving our country,” said Williams.

Thursday afternoon two vessels pierced the waves, while a helicopter assisted from above.

“So, we know what we are getting into before we get into it,” said Williams. His team is responsible for stopping smugglers in their tracks; preventing guns, drugs and human trafficking victims from getting to our streets. Last year Air Marine operations agents seized 250,000 pounds of cocaine, $26,000,000 and detained 37,000 illegal aliens according to figures from the CBP. “There are people that would like to come into this country and do harm to us and our citizens and people who call this home,” said Williams.

During their patrol, a target came onto the radar and the race was on. William’s is primarily looking for boats coming from the Bahamas. The three boats we saw them scrutinize were all clean. The agents hopped on board the vessels, inspected everyone’s identification on board and checked the captains’ credentials. Protecting our borders isn’t easy, but it’s Williams’s passion. “The fact that I can go home at night and know that I did something to protect my wife and kids, my family and friends to protect my community, to protect my nation to me that’s rewarding,” said Williams.

During my time with the team, they didn’t discover any drugs or illegal activity, which they say is a good thing. Currently, there are 15 air marine boats patrolling south Florida, next week another five boats are permanently joining the arsenal.

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