Coast Guard repatriates 46 migrants to the Dominican Republic

Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Barney.

Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez file photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Barney.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Doyle (WPC-1133) repatriated 46 migrants Tuesday to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel just off Samaná, Dominican Republic, following the interdiction of two illegal migrant voyages in the Mona Passage.

Four of the interdicted migrants, three men and a woman, remain in Puerto Rico to face possible federal prosecution on charges of attempted illegal reentry into the United States.

The interdictions resulted from ongoing efforts in support of Operation Unified Resolve, Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

While on a routine patrol of the Mona Passage Sunday afternoon, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez (WPC-1114) detected and interdicted a 22-foot makeshift boat with 22 migrants aboard, approximately eight nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The crew of the Heriberto Hernandez safely embarked 14 men and eight women, who claimed Dominican Republic nationality.

A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations DHC-8 marine patrol aircraft crew sighted a second migrant boat Sunday night, approximately 56 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The cutter Heriberto Hernandez diverted to the scene and interdicted a 16-foot boat with 28 migrants aboard. The cutter crew safely embarked 26 men and two women, who claimed Dominican Republic nationality.

The cutter Heriberto Hernandez later rendezvoused with the cutter Joseph Doyle and transferred the 46 migrants for their repatriation. The Heriberto Hernandez also rendezvoused with Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, who received custody of the four migrants awaiting prosecution.

Cutters Heriberto Hernandez and Joseph Doyle are 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Operation Caribbean Guard is a Department of Homeland Security multi-agency law enforcement operation to support ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands being executed under the San Juan Regional Coordinating Mechanism (SJ ReCoM)/Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).

CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.


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