113 Haitian Migrants Apprehended Over Weekend
AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and Puerto Rico Police (PRPD) apprehended 113 undocumented immigrant citizens of Haiti over the weekend in three separate events.
After midnight on Mar. 22, a CBP maritime patrol aircraft detected about 10 miles northwest of Mona a single engine vessel traveling south eastbound without navigation lights. The CBP aircraft maintained constant surveillance of the vessel and coordinated an intercept with USCG Farallon, finding 15 persons on board, 13 claiming to be citizens of Haiti and 2 claiming to be citizens of the Dominican Republic.
Earlier the same day, a USCG MH65 helicopter detected a two engine vessel approximately 14 miles north of Monito, southeast bound without navigational lights, coordinating an intercept with USCG cutter Farallon. The USCG crew found 64 persons on board the 30 foot wooden vessel , 62 claiming to be citizens of Haiti and two citizens of the Dominican Republic.
Saturday Mar. 23, the Puerto Rico police contacted the Ramey Border Patrol station reporting the apprehension of 15 migrants claiming to be Haitian citizens who landed on board a 20 foot yola left abandoned in Los Pozos beach in the southwest corner of the island. PRPD and CBP Border Patrol agents extensively searched the area, apprehending 19 additional migrants.
Today, Tomas Guerrero, Segundo Alcala-Del Rosario, Miguel Jacinto-Saldana, Samuel Abreu-Pion, and Radames Castillo-Soriano, all citizens of the Dominican Republic, will make an initial appearance appear before a U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge for violations to U.S. immigration law. CBP presented a complaint against the aforementioned defendants before Special Assistant US Attorney Tiffany Kelley who accepted the case for prosecution.
The Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, 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.