Coast Guard repatriates 3 Dominicans, 2 Cubans to La Romana, Dominican Republic

7th Coast Guard District NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Farallon repatriated three Dominicans and two Cubans to La Romana, Dominican Republic Friday, following an at-sea interdiction Thursday just off of Isabela, Puerto Rico.

Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement agents detained seven other Dominican men to face judicial proceedings ashore. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico agreed to file charges and prosecute five of the Dominicans for illegal entry and two others for illegal reentry into a United States Territory.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan watchstanders received a report from a Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agent Thursday, who notified that the crew of a Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources maritime unit was on scene with a 20-foot migrant boat that was disabled and adrift with 10 men and two women onboard, approximately half a mile off of Martinica Beach in Isabela, Puerto Rico. The crew of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action F.U.R.A. marine unit arrived on scene, and towed the migrant vessel to Añasco, Puerto Rico, where they transferred custody of the migrants to the U.S. Coast Guard and embarked them aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Farallon.

“Migrants are risking their lives by trusting smugglers and making the dangerous journey across the Mona Passage aboard unseaworthy vessels,” said Capt. Marc Stegman, Sector San Juan acting commander. “They will also likely be caught by federal and local law enforcement authorities and prosecuted on illegal immigration charges.’

The crew of the Farallon collected and processed the migrant’s biographical information, 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 Farallon rendezvoused with CBP Border Patrol agents in Añasco, Puerto Rico Friday, who interviewed the migrants aboard the Farallon and took into custody the seven Dominicans that are to face judicial proceedings ashore.

The crew of the Farallon repatriated the remaining five migrants at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday to La Romana, Dominican Republic as they turned custody of the migrants to awaiting Dominican Republic Naval authorities ashore.

Coast Guard Cutter Farallon is a 110-foot patrol boat 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.

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