Coast Guard repatriates 8 to La Romana, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Cushing repatriated eight Dominicans and one Cuban to La Romana, Dominican Republic Tuesday morning, while four other Dominicans were detained for prosecution following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency law enforcement authorities Sunday.

The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Dash-8 aircraft located a migrant vessel Sunday night while patrolling Mona Passage waters. The migrants, 11 men and two women, were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic aboard a 18-foot wooden yola.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing to the scene. The crew of the Cushing arrived on scene, interdicted the yola and safely embarked all 13 migrants.

Once onboard the cutter, the crew of the Cushing collected the biographic information, including digital fingerprints and facial photographs from the interdicted migrants, and detained four Dominican men for attempting to enter illegally into the United States or a U.S. territory on at least two occasions. The United States Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico accepted to prosecute their cases.

The crew of the Cushing transferred custody of the four detained migrants Monday evening to awaiting Border Patrol agents at the Port of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

The crew of the Cushing repatriated the eight remaining Dominicans and one Cuban onboard at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, when they turned custody of the migrants 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 Cushing is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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