SOURCE: CMC – The United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami has announced efforts to curb the increased flow of weapons, weapon parts and ammunition to Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean.
Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of HSI Miami, along with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners made the announcement on Friday.
“HSI and our partners will investigate and seek to prosecute any individuals involved in illegal arms trafficking,” said Salisbury. “Today, we make it very clear that the United States, and in particular south Florida, is not open for business regarding the illegal trafficking of weapons.”
DHS said that, over the last three months, HSI has seen a substantial increase in the number of weapons, along with a serious increase on the caliber and type of firearms, being illegally trafficked.
According to the DHS, some of those weapons include .50 caliber sniper rifles, 308 rifles, and a belt fed machine gun
“In the wrong hands, these weapons could cause mass casualties,” it said. “Because of this, HSI and counterparts within DHS, Department of Commerce, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD), and the US Attorney for Southern District of Florida are vigorously pursuing this issue and implementing countermeasures.”
These measures include extra resources within HSI Miami, primarily through the US Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) groups, “charged with combating emerging and existing Transnational Criminal Organizations and increased inspections of US export shipments to ensure compliance with federal export laws.”
“Agencies are also leveraging information developed from investigations and partnerships with foreign customs officials and police to target shipments and individuals that may be engaged in smuggling,” DHS said. “These efforts not only concern the physical movement of illegal weapons but also the financial flows that support this illicit activity.”