Miami, Florida - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Miami International Airport (MIA) discovered a 26-year-old Cuban man who attempted to evade detection in the belly of an aircraft arriving from Havana early Friday morning.

CBP received reports of a possible stowaway shortly after midnight when a ramp agent encountered the man while offloading baggage. CBP officers processed the individual as a stowaway under Section 212(a)(6)(D) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). CBP officers remain vigilant to arrest persons trying to elude detection in violation of federal law.

“Individuals are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces and CBP is trained and ready to respond with appropriate actions to prevent serious injuries or death whenever possible,” said Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher D. Maston. “Teams of CBP officers maintain a robust posture regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws while facilitating trade and travel at ports of entry statewide.”

CBP maintains a high level of vigilance using advanced technologies and joint partnerships with a vast network of local, state and federal law enforcement partners as part of a multi-layered approach to border security. CBP has detected 20 stowaways across the country so far this fiscal year. Stowaways have been detected attempting to hide using various means of transportation—including aboard aircraft, concealed within shipping containers, hidden in railway cars and inside tractor-trailers.

The U.S. Coast Guard and CBP officers apprehended three stowaways on a merchant vessel a few miles off-shore near the Port of Miami in January. CBP officers also discovered several stowaways on board vessels arriving to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic the latter part of last year.

CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws including the interdiction of narcotic contraband while maintaining the effective and efficient flow of travel, trade and tourism at our airports, seaports and border crossings nationwide. 

CBP’s Office of Field Operations in Florida includes more than 2,500 front-line federal officers, agricultural specialists, trade and mission support personnel securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border and providing travel and trade facilitation.