SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents arrested Wednesday 2 citizens of the Dominican Republic, during two separate incidents in Puerto Rico.
Leandro Mercedes-Coplin, will appear today before US District Court Magistrate Sylvia Carreño-Coll facing charges under title 8 United States Code, Section 1326, for attempting to reenter after a previous removal for a felony conviction. Mr. Mercedes-Coplin was found inside a “yola” vessel, along with 22 other migrants, intercepted by the US Coast Guard, approximately 30 miles north of Mona Island.
Narciso Rondon-Mejia, will appear today under title 8 United States Code, Section 1326, for attempting to reenter after a previous removal for an aggravated felony conviction. Mr. Rondon-Mejia was found illegally present by Border Patrol Agents in Camuy, Puerto Rico.
“We have the firm resolve to arrest convicted felons who try to return to the island after they have been removed for serving time,” stated Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector in Aguadilla.
Biometrics checks revealed that Mr. Mercedes-Coplin had been removed in 2007 after a conviction for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in a New York court.
Mr. Rondon-Mejia had been removed in 2013 after a conviction for Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering from a South Florida court.
Border Patrol agents presented the case to Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Smith for prosecution.
If convicted, Mr. Mercedes-Coplin face a fine or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both. If convicted, Mr. Rondon-Mejia face a fine or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.