Coast Guard repatriates 7 Dominicans to La Romana, Dominican Republic

Coast Guard Cutter Farallon

USCG file photo

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

“We continue to work aggressively with our partners in the Dominican Republic Navy and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group to bring smugglers to justice and prevent them from further endangering human lives,” said Capt. Marc Stegman, Coast Guard Sector San Juan acting commander.

The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla, MH-65 Dolphin helicopter located an 18-foot wooden yola Sunday evening, while patrolling waters approximately 20 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The migrants were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.

The Coast Guard Cutter Farallon diverted to the scene, interdicted the migrant vessel and embarked three men and five 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 Monday in Añasco, Puerto Rico, where they conducted migrant interviews and took one of the migrant men into custody. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico accepted to prosecute the detained migrant for attempting to enter illegally into the United States or a U.S. territory on at least two separate occasions.

The crew of the Farallon repatriated the remaining seven Dominicans Monday night 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, Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Coast Guard works in direct collaboration with the Dominican Republic Navy joining efforts and sharing information to interdict and repatriate illegal migrants, prosecute migrant smugglers and identifying the whereabouts of migrant smuggling organizations responsible for endangering human lives.

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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