U.S. Coast Guard’s Lt. Jan League and Petty Officer 3 rd Class Christopher Brandshagens, stationed aboard Regional Inspection Office St. Croix, and a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Dog Team, check the contents of a container for any undeclared hazardous goods, contraband or anomalies Wednesday at the Port of Christiansted in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The inspection was part of 'Operation Caribbean Transit 2011,' a multi-agency strike force operation at the Port of Christiansted. (U.S. Coast Guard photo.)
CHRISTIANDED, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Coast Guard Sector San Juan container inspectors alongside DEA HIDTA St. Croix Resident Office agents and other partner agency teams participated in 'Operation Caribbean Transit 2011,' a multi-agency strike force operation (MASFO) Wednesday and Thursday at the Port of Christiansted in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
During the two-day evolution MASFO teams inspected a total of 119 containers of which 10 were detained by Coast Guard inspectors for safety violations.
The primary objective of the MASFO was to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations pertaining to the safe shipment of cargo and the shipment of undeclared hazardous goods or illegal contraband.
The MASFO was comprised of two teams strategically located throughout the port. Leveraging the jurisdictional authorities of each agency, the inter-agency teams thoroughly inspected containers, bulk liquid tanks, tractor trailers, trucks and truck drivers before their shipments left the port.
"The MASFO was a great example of the interagency cooperation, and a first of its kind for St. Croix’s port community,” said Cmdr. David Berliner, Coast Guard Sector San chief of prevention. “The timely and comprehensive inspections were aligned with the shared mutual objective of facilitating the safe and timely flow of commerce through the maritime, rail and highway modes of transportation.”
The initiative combined the capabilities of numerous agencies including Coast Guard, Customs and Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Agriculture, Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Task Force personnel.