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CBP arrests undocumented man found on vessel in Puerto Rico waters

Release Date: 
March 26, 2015

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents and Puerto Rico Police Department Officers arrested Tuesday an undocumented migrant on board a makeshift wooden vessel traveling west, off the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico.

Lion Parra-Vazquez, 50, will appear on today before US District Court Sylvia Carreño-Coll for an initial appearance regarding federal charges for re-entry of a removed alien after a felony conviction.

A CBP DHC-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) located a 15-foot makeshift vessel with one person on board, approximately eight miles north of Desecheo Island.  A Puerto Rico Police Department FURA maritime unit, with a Ramey Border Patrol Agent onboard, responded and subsequently intercepted the vessel.

During inspection Mr. Parra -Vazquez admitted to being a national of the Dominican Republic illegally present in the United States.  For his safety he was transferred to a US Coast Guard cutter and transported to the Mayaguez port.

In 2003, Mr. Parra-Vazquez was found illegally present in the United States near the town of Aguada and was ordered removed by an Immigration Judge.  In 2013, he was found attempting to illegally re-enter the United States near the city of Aguadilla, later being charged and convicted for re-entry after removal, and serving 4 months imprisonment.

The Ramey Border Patrol prosecutions unit presented the case to Special Assistant US Attorney Glenn Goetchius who will lead the prosecution.

If convicted Mr. Parra-Vazquez could be fined or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law.

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 Rapid Action Forces (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands borders against illegal migrant and drug smuggling

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017