AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) apprehended 67 undocumented migrants in three separate incursions from Feb. 28 to March 2. The undocumented migrants attempted to enter through the Mona and Monito islands on board makeshift wooden vessels. One female migrant was found deceased Thursday near the shore on Mona Island.
Today Raul Kelli-Green, Pedro DeLa Cruz-Garcia and Antonio Mercedes, all citizens of the Dominican Republic, will make an initial appearance appear before a U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge for charges of illegally bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States and aiding and abetting on the preceding action. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP U.S. Border Patrol presented a joint complaint against the aforementioned defendants before Assistant U.S. Attorney Evelyn Canals who accepted the case for prosecution.
On Thursday, USCG and CBP assets completed the rescue and transfer of 61 migrants from two separate landings. From Mona Island, the USCG MH-65 dolphin helicopter and CAMB UH-60 Black Hawk retrieved 28 aliens, 25 citizens of Haiti and 3 citizens of the Dominican Republic. One female was found deceased in the water near the Mona Island coastline. From Monito Island, the USCG cutter Key Largo rescued 33 aliens, 26 citizens of Haiti and seven citizens of Cuba.
On Saturday morning, USCG Sector San Juan contacted the CBP Ramey Sector Border Patrol and reported the landing of six Cuban migrants into Playa Pajaros on Mona Island.
The undocumented migrants were transported by to the Mayaguez port where CBP U.S. Border Patrol agents assumed custody. The migrants were transported to the Ramey Station for processing under U.S. immigration law.
The body of the deceased female was provided Thursday to the Puerto Rico District Attorney for investigation.
On Feb. 16, CBP and USCG operatives intercepted a wooden vessel 22 miles northwest of Puerto Rico with 38 migrants from the Dominican Republic.
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.