Coast Guard repatriates 6 Dominicans and 1 Haitian migrants to La Romana, Dominican Republic

7th Coast Guard District NewsSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus repatriated six Dominicans and one Haitian a to La Romana, Dominican Republic Saturday, following an at-sea interdiction Friday by Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities, approximately two nautical miles off the coast of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico agreed to prosecute seven other Dominicans, who were also traveling aboard the migrant vessel, on charges of illegal entry into a United States Territory.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Watchstanders were contacted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) agents Friday morning, who reported that the crew of a CBP maritime patrol aircraft had located a migrant vessel transiting from the Dominican Republic towards the west coast of Puerto Rico.

The crew of Customs and Border Protection and Puerto Rico Police Joint Force of Rapid Action (FURA) marine units responded, interdicted the migrant vessel and embarked the migrants from the makeshift wooden yola (boat).

The migrants were transferred shortly thereafter to the Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus for biometrics processing to determine they had any previous criminal or illegal immigration history in the United States or a U.S. Territory.

The Matinicus afterwards rendezvoused with CBP Border Patrol agents in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico Friday afternoon, where Border Patrol agents came onboard, interviewed the undocumented migrants and took six Dominican men and a Dominican woman into custody for criminal prosecution.

The Matinicus proceeded to transit to La Romana, Dominican Republic, where they transferred custody of the six remaining Dominicans and one Haitian to awaiting Dominican Republic Navy authorities ashore Saturday morning.

Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan, 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 Office of Border Patrol – Ramey Sector, the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant smuggling.

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