Coast Guard repatriates 6 Dominican migrants to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke repatriated six Dominican migrants to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Tuesday, following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) Law Enforcement authorities Sunday.

The crew of the Ocracoke detained six other Dominican men 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 accepted to prosecute their cases.

The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection DASH-8 aircraft located an 18-foot wooden migrant vessel Sunday night, while patrolling waters approximately eight nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The 12 Dominican migrants were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.

The crew of a Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (F.U.R.A.) marine unit interdicted the migrant vessel and safely embarked nine men and three women as the migrant vessel was taking on water. Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke arrived on scene shortly thereafter and embarked the migrants from the F.U.R.A. marine Unit.

Once onboard the cutter, the crew of the Ocracoke collected the biographic information, including digital fingerprints and facial photographs from the interdicted migrants.

The Ocracoke rendezvoused Monday with awaiting Border Patrol agents in Añasco, Puerto Rico, where Border Patrol agents conducted migrant interviews and took custody of the six detained migrants Monday afternoon.

The crew of the Ocracoke repatriated the remaining six Dominicans Tuesday morning, when they turned custody over to Dominican Republic Naval authorities in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Miami.

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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