Coast Guard interdicts 15 illegal migrants

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) bring’s the cutter to life during the ship’s commissioning ceremony held at Coast Guard Sector San Juan June 8, 2019. The Doyle is the thirty third fast response cutter to be commissioned in the Coast Guard and the seventh to be assigned and homeported in Sector San Juan. (Coast Guard photo by Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle bring’s the cutter to life during the ship’s commissioning ceremony held at Coast Guard Sector San Juan June 8, 2019. (Coast Guard photo by Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) and a Dominican Republic Navy vessel combined efforts during Monday’s interdiction of an illegal migrant voyage transporting 15 migrants in waters south of Isla Saona, Dominican Republic.

The interdiction, which was part of a joint effort between the Coast Guard, the Dominican Republic Navy and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, led to Dominican Republic authorities arresting Edgar Batista Matos and Manauris Andujar Manon, who reportedly are associated with human smuggling activities and the organization of illegal migrant voyages.

During a patrol in the Caribbean Sea Monday afternoon, the crew of a Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft detected a suspect migrant vessel south of Isla Saona, Dominican Republic. While patrolling nearby waters, cutter Joseph Doyle responded to the sighting and interdicted the 25-foot make shift vessel that was carrying 15 migrants, 13 men and two women of Dominican Republic nationality. Shortly thereafter, a responding Dominican Republic Navy vessel arrived on scene and the crew took custody of the migrants and towed the interdicted vessel back to the Dominican Republic.

Following the interdiction, Dominican Republic Navy authorities informed the Coast Guard that the known smugglers were found to be among the interdicted migrants.

“This successful interdiction and arrest of two smugglers was the result of the strong partnership and collaboration that exists between the Coast Guard and Dominican Republic Navy,” said Captain Eric King, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “The results achieved today, despite the challenging operational environment presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic, reflect the commitment and daily efforts carried out by both countries to protect our borders from existing maritime threats and safeguard the lives of migrants who face the danger of an uncertain and potentially perilous voyage.”

Cutter Joseph Doyle is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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