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Thread: Border Enforcement Helicopter Fires Warning Shots at Smugglers Off SoCal Coast

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Border Enforcement Helicopter Fires Warning Shots at Smugglers Off SoCal Coast

    Border Enforcement Helicopter Fires Warning Shots at Panga Off SoCal Coast; 3 in Custody

    POSTED 2:10 PM, JANUARY 19, 2015, BY MELISSA PAMER


    A file photo shows a crew aboard a U.S. Customs and Border Protection UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. (Credit: James Tourtellotte via U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr)

    For the first time on the West Coast, a federal border enforcement helicopter fired warning shots from the air at a boat en route to Catalina Island, bringing an apparent drug smuggling operation to a halt, authorities said Monday.

    The shots were fired about 11p.m Saturday from a Blackhawk helicopter operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine using a mounted bolt-action rifle aimed by a crew member, according to a news release from the federal agency.


    The crew of a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft on patrol initially saw a panga boat about 24 miles off La Jolla, traveling at a high rate of speed toward Catalina Island. Two interceptor boats and the

    Blackhawk crew, on patrol near Catalina, responded to a call for help from the Coast Guard C-130.


    With backup on the way, the Coast Guard plane remained overhead, spotting large bales being thrown overboard from the panga. When the Blackhawk arrived, the panga refused to yield.


    A helicopter crew member fired toward the vessel using a protocol designed to pose “no danger to the boating public,” according to the release.


    “After several warning shots were deployed across the bow of the panga, it immediately stopped,” the release stated.


    An interceptor boat arrived and three men on the panga were taken into custody, and then turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents for processing.


    Additional aircraft helped searched for the bales, which authorities believed containted marijuana. The boat was seized.

    The incident marked the first time on the West Coast that warning shots have been deployed from the air, according to Mitch Pribble, director of air operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in San Diego. “

    “You always want a vessel to stop when they are first directed to do so,” Pribble said in the news release. “However, when a suspected criminal chooses to flee, the ability to fire those warning shots gives us another option that can be used to get them to stop before they become a greater danger to law enforcement personnel, innocent civilians on the water, and themselves.”

    http://ktla.com/2015/01/19/border-en...-3-in-custody/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    C.B.P. NEWS RELEASE

    CBP Helicopter Deploys Warning Shots to Stop Panga Boat Suspected of Smuggling Marijuana

    Release Date:
    January 19, 2015

    SAN DIEGO — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine helicopter crew successfully stopped a panga Saturday night off the coast of Santa Catalina Island loaded with likely bales of marijuana, by using warning shots fired from the helicopter after the panga initially refused to yield.

    At about 10 p.m., the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 aircraft was on patrol when they spotted a suspect panga approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of La Jolla, Calif., traveling north towards Santa Catalina Island at a high rate of speed. The Coast Guard requested assistance from CBP San Diego Office of Air and Marine (OAM). A CBP crew in a Blackhawk helicopter on patrol near Santa Catalina responded to the location of the panga boat, as well as the crews from two CBP OAM Midnight Express interceptor boats.



    The Coast Guard aircraft remained overhead to provide additional surveillance and reporting. As the CBP helicopter and boats were traveling towards the panga, the Coast Guard crew aboard the aircraft spotted those aboard the panga beginning to jettison large bales overboard into the water. Shortly after 11 p.m., the CBP Blackhawk arrived at the location and closed-in on the fleeing panga. However, the panga vessel failed to yield.


    Following a very structured Airborne Disabling Fire protocol, developed to ensure there is no danger to the boating public, the CBP crew determined that it was necessary to deploy warning-shots at the vessel. Airborne Disabling Fire uses a mounted bolt action rifle aimed and fired by a Blackhawk air crew member. After several warning shots were deployed across the bow of the panga it immediately stopped.



    “This is the first time on the west coast that we’ve deployed warning shots from an air asset down to the water,” said Mitch Pribble, Director of Air Operations for CBP in San Diego. “You always want a vessel to stop when they are first directed to do so. However, when a suspected criminal chooses to flee, the ability to fire those warning shots gives us another option that can be used to get them to stop before they become a greater danger to law enforcement personnel, innocent civilians on the water, and themselves.”


    After the panga stopped, the first CBP Midnight Express vessel arrived and the crew took the three men aboard into custody. The three men were later turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents for processing.


    The Coast Guard Cutter Pike and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego assisted OAM in the search for the bales thrown overboard, which likely contained marijuana. CBP seized the panga boat.


    Customs and Border Protection and the Coast Guard are member agencies of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM). The ReCoM is comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP's Office of Air and Marine, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and state and local law enforcement partners operating in Southern California. The ReCoM coordinates planning and operations to target the threat of transnational crime along the coastal border.


    If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834.


    U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

    http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-me...top-panga-boat

    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 01-19-2015 at 10:46 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Lock and load

    it's show time.
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