Coast Guard participates in Multi Agency Strike Force operation in U.S. Virgin Islands

7th Coast Guard District NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan container inspectors concluded a multi agency strike force operation (MASFO) at the Crowley Marine Terminal Saturday and Sunday in St. Thomas harbor, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The multi-agency strike force screened a total of 121 containers with a Customs and Border Protection X-Ray machine, and physically inspected 53 other containers and portable tanks including 27 hazardous material containers.

The operation yielded negative findings for any illegal drugs or contraband shipments, while the multi-agency strike force detained seven hazardous material containers due to insufficient markings and required placarding.

The primary objective of the MASFO was to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations pertaining to the safe shipment of cargo. 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 freight containers and portable tanks ensuring compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code as well as U.S. regulations.

“The MASFO was a great example of the interagency cooperation, and a first of its kind for St Thomas’s port community,” said Cmdr. David Berliner, Coast Guard Sector San Juan 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 and highway modes of transportation.”

The initiative combined the capabilities of numerous agencies including Coast Guard, Customs and Border Patrol, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel.

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