Government Cracking Down on Smuggling Operations off Fort Lauderdale Coast
Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney William Moore is well-aware of the dangers of human trafficking. Smuggling often results in individuals desperate for a better life attempting to immigrate to the U.S. in sub-par conditions. Just a few days ago, a boat off the coast of Boynton Beach in Broward County capsized, resulting in the drowning deaths of at least 10 people. The United States Coast Guard was not alerted to the problem for a number of hours after the small, overpacked vessel turned over in the middle of the night, and rescue operations did not commence until the smuggled individuals had been in the Atlantic waters for approximately nine hours.
Now, Broward criminal lawyer Moore says federal agencies are beefing up their anti-smuggling operations around the waters of south Florida. In particular, the United States Customs and Border Protection has one of only two planes in existence that can closely track vessels in the water. According to the agency, the airplane is capable of capturing close-up images of the faces of people aboard a vessel from 10,000 feet in the air. It can also capture video of the smuggling operation as it attempts to come to shore in Florida. The plane is capable of tracking the routes of about 5,000 such vessels all at one time. The equipment tracks vessels leaving Cuba, comparing the travel plans previously filed to the actual path, and can alert the U.S. Coast Guard to dispatch its nearest vessel as soon as the boat or ship begins to deviate from its plan.
Current, the airplane travels high above the water between the Bahamas and the south Florida coast. The computer aboard the plane can quickly sort through the various vessels in the ocean, labeling freight ships, military vessels, and other types of ships or boats. By doing so, its operators can quickly narrow in on the types of vessels more likely to smuggle human beings or drugs. Radar expert Blake Page likened the computer’s capabilities to “an air traffic control system for the ocean.”
The only other plane carrying the $15 million software belongs to the Department of Defense. Computers equipped with the new software are expected to be loaded onto four more Dash 8 airplanes soon. A Dash 8 can stay in the air almost twice as long as the King Air, which is carrying the current anti-smuggling computer. The Dash 8 airplanes come at a cost of $28 million per plane, but come with improved satellite capabilities to complement the software’s functions.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in all kinds of criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A conviction for a felony or misdemeanor can have consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in the south Florida area, contact William Moore, P.A., which has offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.