(LOS ANGELES) – As the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams prepare to take to the field for the Super Bowl on Sunday, law enforcement officials told ABC News they are preparing to protect the big game of potential threats and criminal activity.
ABC News integrated with U.S. Customs and Border Protection air and sea operations to see security issues around Sofi Stadium and the Los Angeles Convention Center – home to the Super Bowl and its various weekend activities . The stadium is close to Los Angeles International Airport and it is common to see low-flying aircraft inside the stadium. This creates a number of problematic scenarios, according to authorities.
“Two things keep me awake at night. One is the density of people in Los Angeles County,” said Brandon Tucker, deputy director of air operations for CFP Air and Marine Operations in San Diego. , the airspace density.”
Law enforcement will have planes above Sofi Stadium as well as helicopters low to the ground to prevent and deter any potential attacks, authorities told ABC News.
As a result, they say they will restrict up to thirty miles of airspace around the stadium on Sunday.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters at a news conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday that there were no credible threats to the security of Sunday’s big game.
“We don’t have any information about a specific credible Super Bowl threat,” Mayorkas said. “What it’s all about is planning and preparing to prevent an incident from happening.”
Mayorkas said there were more than 500 Homeland Security people in Los Angeles securing the game.
“There will be a heavy police presence for the Super Bowl to avoid any incidents,” Jack Ewell, chief of the special operations division at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office, said during the press conference with Mayorkas. “There were no incidents at the Super Bowl Experience.”
Law enforcement officials said they were also concerned about drones around the stadium and airport.
“Our message for a Super Bowl Sunday is out, enjoy the game, but leave your drone at home,” said Kevin Morris, a drone expert with the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to Morris, anyone flying a drone could face a fine of over $30,000 and jail time.
Aboard Customs and Border Patrol boats, agents are also looking for smugglers trying to take advantage of federal attention at Sofi Stadium.
Evan Wagley, a CBP Air and Marine Operations Officer, said he has seen a local increase in the number of criminals smuggling drugs and people over the past two years.
“We think it’s very likely that one of these criminal operations will try to use it as a diversion and we want to be able to make sure we’re that first line of defense so we can spot anything that might potentially get inside. “Wagley said.
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