Ohio based Coast Guard crew discovers 3 suspected illegal aliens during safety boarding

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio - Cremembers of Station Fairport Harbor patrol the waters of Lake Erie aboard the station's 47-foot response boat . USCG photo by Petty Officer Allyson E. Taylor

Coast Guard File Photo by Petty Officer Allyson E. Taylor

CLEVELAND – A boatcrew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Fairport, Ohio, transferred three suspected illegal aliens to Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol agents at about 7 p.m., Thursday, after finding them onboard a vessel they stopped for a routine safety check.

While on a patrol, the Station Fairport boatcrew boarded a 15-foot pleasure craft with four men onboard near Fairport Harbor. Coast Guard boarding officers terminated the men’s voyage because they did not have the required number of life jackets and had no fire extinguisher onboard.

Following inspection of the men’s documentation, and inconsistent responses to questions posed by the boarding officer, the men were detained pending further investigation. The vessel was towed to the public dock in Fairport and the four men were taken to Station Fairport, where they were met by Coast Guard Investigative Service and Border Patrol agents.

Border Patrol agents interviewed the four men and took three into custody for processing. There was no indication that the individuals had transited across the U.S. border with Canada. The names of those involved are being withheld pending the outcome of administrative adjudication.

With broad authorities and responsibilities for maritime safety and security, the Coast Guard conducts patrols and coordinates with other federal agencies to identify and mitigate potential safety and security threats to the public.

The Ninth Coast Guard District shares a close working relationship with state, local and federal agencies in the Great Lakes region, combining joint and interagency capabilities to maximize mission effect and ensure seamless mission execution across organizational boundaries.

“Border security in the Great Lakes requires a multi-dimensional approach” said Capt. Steve Wischmann, Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “Central to that approach is seamless operations – we must be able to operate effectively with all our partners. The Great Lakes comprise a shared maritime system that requires shared solutions. This case was a great example of vigilance by our Station Fairport crew and a great partnership with Border Patrol that enabled a rapid response.”

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