Coast Guard stops 2 smugglers; repatriates 40 Cubans to Cuba

Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr’s crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel approximately 13 miles southeast of Marathon, Florida, Jan. 23, 2022. One suspected smuggler was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr’s crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders of a vessel approximately 13 miles southeast of Marathon, Florida, Jan. 23, 2022. One suspected smuggler was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — Coast Guard Cutter William Trump’s crew repatriated 40 people to Cuba, Thursday, following two interdictions due to safety of life at sea concerns.

Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr’s crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 5 a.m., Sunday, of a vessel approximately 13 miles southeast of Marathon. One suspected smuggler was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations flight crew reported to Sector Key West watchstanders at about 12:45 a.m., Tuesday, of a vessel approximately 10 miles south of Long Key. One suspected smuggler was transferred to HSI special agents for further investigation

“People illegally entering the U.S. using smugglers put their lives in the hands of criminals,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Cobb, Coast Guard District Seven duty enforcement officer. “Migrant smugglers are ruthless criminals who only care about profit.”

Since Oct. 1, 2021, Coast Guard crews interdicted 690 Cubans compared to:

  • 5,396 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2016
  • 1,468 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017
  • 259 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
  • 313 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
  • 49 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
  • 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention. Throughout the interdictions, Coast Guard crew members were equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to any possible case of COVID-19.

Family members in the United States inquiring about possible family members interdicted at sea, please contact your local U.S. representative. Relatives located outside the United States please contact your local U.S. Embassy.

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