Coast Guard interdicts, repatriates 43 Cuban migrants

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke repatriated 43 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, Thursday, after they were interdicted during two separate events.

A CBP Air and Marine vessel stopped the Abbey Road eight miles east of Miami Friday. The two suspected smugglers and 15 Cuban migrants were brought aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Drummond. The two suspected smugglers were then transferred to Customs and Border Protection officers in Miami. Following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation, ICE special agents arrested the two smugglers, who are pending federal prosecution.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute interdicted a stolen 35-foot go-fast vessel with 28 Cuban migrants and two suspected smugglers aboard 40 miles southwest of Cuba, Dec. 22. Two suspected smugglers were referred to ICE for investigation. One of those suspected smugglers was arrested by ICE special agents in Key West, Fla., and is pending federal prosecution.

Coast Guard crews have interedicted 90 Cuban migrants during fiscal year 2010, which began Oct. 1. The Coast Guard interdicted 335 Cuban migrants Cuban migrants during the same period in fiscal year 2009 and 630 for the entire fiscal year.

Once aboard Coast Guard cutters, migrants receive food, water, shelter and any necessary medical treatment.

The Resolute is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in St. Petersburg.
The Drummond is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Miami.

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