Joint Homeland Security Agency boarding touted as a success

SEATTLE – Coast Guard Sector Seattle members in conjunction with agents from the U.S. Border Patrol, Blaine Sector, conducted a joint agency boarding of a vessel in Bellingham, Wash. The joint effort resulted in the extradition of one crewman to Redmond, Wash., for arrest warrants and two crew members being detained, transported and investigated for having questionable immigration status.

Coast Guard Sector Seattle’s Vessel Board and Search Team (VBST) along with members of Coast Guard Station Bellingham and Border Patrol agents, assigned to the Coast Guard in a year long Department of Homeland Security intra-agency exchange program, conducted a boarding aboard a fish processing vessel in the Bellingham area. The purpose of the boarding was to ensure the safety and security of the vessel and its crew as well as to ensure the vessel’s Advance Notice of Arrival (ANOA) information was accurate.

Upon further investigation of the ship’s crew list and ANOA information, the boarding officials were able to arrange with Whatcom County officials the extradition of one man wanted by the town of Redmond for outstanding warrants. They were also able to successfully clear two crew members who were initially in question based on pre-arrival information.

Chief Patrol Agent John Bates of the U.S. Border Patrol, Blaine Sector, stated “This is a prime example of two DHS components working in unison to safeguard our country.”

This successful operation is an example of the collaborative partnerships between the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and local agencies coordinating law enforcement activities to ensure the safety and security of the vessels, ports and waters of Puget Sound.

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