Coast Guard repatriates 13 Dominicans, 3 Haitians and 1 Cuban to La Romana, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo repatriated 13 Dominicans, three Haitians and one Cuban to La Romana, Dominican Republic Tuesday, following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities Monday.

Six other Dominican men were detained for prosecution for attempting to enter illegally into the United States or a U.S. territory on at least two separate occasions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico accepted to prosecute their cases.

The crew of the Key Largo located a migrant vessel Monday afternoon while patrolling Mona Passage waters, approximately five nautical miles east of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico. The migrants, 18 men and five women, including a male minor, were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic aboard a 22-foot-green wooden yola.

The crew of the Key Largo interdicted the migrant vessel and safely embarked all 23 migrants. 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 transferred custody of the six detained migrants Tuesday morning to Border Patrol agents at the Port of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

The crew of the Key Largo repatriated the remaining migrants onboard at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, when they turned custody over to Dominican Republic Naval authorities in La Romana, 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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