Coast Guard repatriates 27 Dominicans to La Romana, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Farallon repatriated 27 Dominicans to La Romana, Dominican Republic Wednesday, following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) Law Enforcement authorities Monday.

The crew of the Farallon detained six Dominicans, five men and a woman, for attempting to enter illegally into the United States or a U.S. territory on at least two separate occasions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico has accepted their cases for prosecution.

A Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew located a 23-foot wooden migrant vessel Monday morning, while patrolling waters west of Puerto Rico. The 34 Dominican migrants were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.

The crews of the Farallon and a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit interdicted the migrant vessel, approximately 9 nautical miles west of Puerto Rico, and safely embarked 23 men and 11 women aboard the cutter. The crew of the Farallon collected biographic information, including digital fingerprints and facial photographs, of the interdicted migrants.

The Farallon rendezvoused with Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents Tuesday in Añasco, Puerto Rico, who conducted migrant interviews and took six migrants into custody.

The crew of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action marine unit medevaced another Dominican woman aboard the Farallon who showed signs of dehydration, while Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents ashore transported her to a medical facility to receive further medical care. The migrant was later released from the medical facility Tuesday and returned to Border Patrol custody.

The crew of the Farallon repatriated the remaining 27 Dominicans at approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday to La Romana, Dominican Republic, where they turned custody of the migrants over to awaiting Dominican Republic Naval authorities ashore.

Coast Guard Cutter Farallon is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in San Juan.

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.

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