U.S. drug enforcement agents step up presence at V.I. transportation facilities
Published: March 16, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - Virgin Islanders may start getting a new kind of welcome after flying between islands: drug dogs.
Agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force brought two police K9s to the Seaborne seaplane terminal in Charlotte Amalie on Friday afternoon.
After the passengers disembarked from the plane, they stood in the terminal and watched as the dogs sniffed their bags and boarded the plane.
Eric Barnard, the resident agent-in-charge for DEA and the commander of the HIDTA task force on St. Thomas, said the exercise marked the start of a new initiative to step up enforcement on drug and gun trafficking for domestic travel.
"We're going to start proactively working the seaplane and other domestic transportation facilities between St. Thomas and St. Croix," Barnard said.
Agents recovered no contraband Friday afternoon, but Barnard said residents can expect to see more searches after traveling between islands. Agents will be looking for any kind of illegal narcotics and guns, Barnard said.