Coast Guard repatriates 11 Dominicans to La Romana, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo repatriated 11 Dominican migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic Friday morning, while four others were detained for prosecution following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency law enforcement authorities Thursday.

The crew of the Key Largo located and interdicted a migrant vessel Thursday morning while patrolling Mona Passage waters approximately 12 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The migrants were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic aboard a 25-foot grossly overloaded wooden yola.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo safely embarked 14 men and one woman aboard the cutter. Once onboard the cutter, the crew of the Key Largo collected the biographic information, including digital fingerprints and facial photographs from the interdicted migrants, and detained four Dominicans for attempting to enter illegally into the United States or a U.S. territory. The United States Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico accepted to prosecute their cases.

The Key Largo transferred custody of the four detained migrants to Border Patrol agents Thursday night at the Puerto Rico Police Marine Station in Añasco, Puerto Rico. The crew of the Key Largo proceeded to get underway to La Romana to repatriate the remaining 11 migrants back to the Dominican Republic.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air & Marine (A&M), Office of Field Operations (OFO), and Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney ‘ s Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation’s Caribbean borders.

Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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