CBP Backs DHS Operation Caribbean Resilience
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—A general assessment by various law enforcement authorities is that Puerto Rico is a primary Caribbean drug transshipment point from South America to the U.S. mainland. In direct response to the threat of criminal organizations, related violence, and its impact on the quality of life for those residing in Puerto Rico, and in response to recommendations contained in the President's Report on Puerto Rico's Status, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated Operation Caribbean Resilience, a comprehensive effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that began in the summer of 2012.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents have contributed to this HSI-led surge operation aimed at disrupting and degrading criminal organizations affecting the quality of life of the of this Caribbean island's residents.
Operation Caribbean Resilience is a joint initiative led by ICE/HSI, with backing from CBP, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Coast Guard, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, Puerto Rico Police Department and the Municipal Police Departments of San Juan, Ponce, and Toa Alta. This operation provided unity of effort and operational evolution by integrating the authorities and capabilities of DHS with other federal, state and local partners during intelligence driven operations in San Juan, Ponce and Fajardo.
The operation has resulted in the arrest of more than 320 criminals, the seizure of more than 170 firearms and 8,000 rounds of ammunition, over $155,000 in cash, and a wide range of illegal narcotics including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, Percocet, and Oxycodone
CBP reinforced the OCR with approximately 10 additional boots-on-the grounds from the San Juan Field Operations Special Response Team (SRT) and Ramey Border Patrol Sector Agents, as well as through aerial and marine cover by the Caribbean Air and Marine branch assets. CBP agents and officers provided operational support providing perimeter security, evidence management, and entry and arrest of subjects; as well as over 150 hours of air and marine surveillance, search/arrest warrant support, aerial coverage and photo/video documentation missions.
The partnership model followed by Operation Caribbean Resilience is sustained in Caribbean operations from all its supporters as evidenced by other well-known initiatives such as the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) and
The success of Operation Caribbean Resilience, combined with the additional support from DHS, will be utilized through the next phase of enhanced public safety support to combat violent crime in Puerto Rico. DHS plans to use the intelligence gathered from the recent arrests to target the criminal organizations that are fueling the violence in the streets of Puerto Rico. DHS will continue to coordinate with interagency partners in Puerto Rico, including the U.S. Department of Justice and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice to address violent crime on the island.
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.