AMO Agents Honor Fallen Heroes in 600 Mile Ride

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two Air and Marine Operations (AMO) National Air Security Operations Center—Jacksonville federal agents participated in this year’s Brotherhood Ride, a 600-mile cycling tour made up of only law enforcement officers and first responder bicyclists.

The eight-day ride stretches between Fort Myers, Florida and Naples, Florida; it began Jan.21 and will end Jan. 28.

Bicyclists ride to remember fallen heroes
Retired National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville AMO Agent Jon Montanaro (left) and AMO Agent Timo Bennett pose with fellow cyclist and retired Homeland Security Investigations Agent Ellen Pierson in Tampa during this year’s Brotherhood Ride event.

While the annual bicycle ride typically occurs in September, the 2022 memorial event was postponed due to Hurricane Ian. Participants pedaled between 70 to 90 miles per day in honor of 85 Florida Fallen Heroes who died in the line of duty in 2021.

Retired Air Interdiction Agent (AIA) Jon Montanaro and Aviation Enforcement Agent (AEA) Timo Bennett joined this year’s 29-member cyclist team. A driving motivation to complete the grueling trek is to show support and solidarity with the loved ones who have been left behind.

“The reason I participate in this ride is for the families,” Bennett said, whose been with AMO for 11 years. 

Both AMO agents also participated in the 1,700-mile 2021 Brotherhood Ride from Naples, Florida to New York City that honored Florida Fallen Heroes who died in the Line of Duty in 2020 as well as first responders who died of illnesses related to actions on September 11, 2001. This year’s event marks the second ride for Montanaro, who retired after 20 years with AMO, and the third cycling event for AEA Bennett.”

“I always encourage those in the branch to make connections across law enforcement channels and in the communities, we serve,” said AMO NASOC-Jacksonville Acting Deputy Director Charles Cowan.  “These types of rides bring our agents closer to their communities and closer to their law enforcement colleagues who, like AMO, work day-in and day-out to make our neighborhoods safe.”

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In Fiscal Year 2022, AMO enforcement actions resulted in 967 arrests and 134,981 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 250,616 pounds of cocaine, 1,475 pounds of fentanyl, 25,625 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,342 weapons, and $21.7 million.

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