Coast Guard repatriates 24 Dominicans and 1 Haitian to La Romana, Dominican Republic

Coast Guard District 7 NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo repatriated 24 Dominicans and one Haitian to La Romana, Dominican Republic Friday, following multiple at-sea migrant interdictions Wednesday and Friday by Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities off the coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico agreed to prosecute 17 other Dominicans detained during both interdictions, 11 are to face charges for illegal entry, and six, for illegal reentry into a United States Territory.

Friday’s interdiction:
Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a report from a Customs and Border Protection agent Friday morning, who notified that the crew Customs and Border Protection dash-8 aircraft had located a migrant vessel, approximately 10 nautical miles off the coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo to interdict the migrant vessel, while a Customs and Border Protection marine unit also responded. The crew of a Customs and Border Protection marine unit arrived on scene and interdicted the migrant vessel with 6 people onboard, 5 men and one woman. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo arrived on scene shortly thereafter and embarked the migrants from the Customs and Border Protection marine unit.

Wednesday’s interdiction:
Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a report from a Puerto Rico Joint Forces of Rapid Action (F.U.R.A.) police officer, who notified that one of their helicopter crews on patrol sighted a migrant vessel transiting illegally to Puerto Rico, approximately five nautical miles off the coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo to interdict the migrant vessel, while a Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit also responded. The Sapelo arrived on scene and interdicted the migrant vessel with 36 men, 35 Dominicans and one Haitian, onboard. The Sapelo embarked the migrants, while a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen HH-65 Dolphin helicopter flew rescue support overhead.

Biometrics processing and case disposition:

The crew of the Sapelo and Key Largo collected and processed the migrant’s biographical information from both interdictions, including taking their digital fingerprints and facial photographs, to determine if they had any criminal or illegal immigration history in the United States or a U.S. Territory.

The Sapelo and Key Largo rendezvoused with CBP Border Patrol agents in Añasco, Puerto Rico Friday afternoon, where they took the 17 Dominicans into custody to face judicial proceedings ashore, while the Sapelo embarked the four remaining migrants from the Key Largo.

The crew of the Sapelo repatriated the remaining 25 migrants at approximately 8p.m. Friday to La Romana, Dominican Republic as they turned custody of the migrants to awaiting Dominican Republic Naval authorities ashore.

Coast Guard Cutter’s Sapelo and Key Largo are 110-foot patrol boats home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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,, 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.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.