Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation at the Port of Saipan

by LT Jonathan Girot
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam

SAIPAN, CNMI — Coast Guard Sector Guam partnered with local and federal agencies during a Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation (MASFO) that took place at the Port of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Nov. 12 – Nov. 15, 2019.

“The U.S. Coast Guard, CNMI Customs, and participating regulatory agencies are trusted partners in the region, and we are pleased to work with them to further enhance the safety and security of the Marianas” said, Lt. Jonathan Girot, Coast Guard Sector Guam Public Affairs Officer. “This operation brought together local and federal organizations to employ jurisdictional authorities of each agency in efforts to execute a successful joint container inspection operation. Our number one priority is to ensure the safe
transport of commercial goods in accordance with all federal and territorial laws and regulations prior to making its way into the community.”

The team conducted the mission to enhance the safe movement of cargo while detecting contraband moving through the port.

The operation resulted in 245 containerized cargo inspections, 80 narcotic sweeps, the detention of four containers, and five total deficiencies. A total of 30 agents, officers, and inspectors participated in this enforcement operation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Saipan, and U.S. Coast Guard 14th District legal office provided offsite assistance.

The operation brought together 13 regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service
  • CNMI Customs
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • CNMI Bureau of Environmental Health
  • CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality
  • CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife
  • CNMI Office of the Attorney General
  • CNMI Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • CNMI Quarantine
  • CNMI Brown Tree Snake Program
  • Drug Enforcement Administration, Saipan Task Force Office
  • Homeland Security Investigations, Saipan Task Force Office

The primary objective of the MASFO was to ensure compliance with federal and territorial regulations on the safe shipment of cargo. The operation effort comprised multiple inspection teams located within the Port of Saipan. Leveraging the jurisdictional authorities of each agency, the interagency teams inspected freight containers and vehicles to ensure compliance with both international and domestic regulatory codes as well as CNMI Customs and territorial regulations.

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