San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) interdicted a "yola" type vessel today with 26 undocumented aliens on board, that attempted to make illegal entry into the western coast of the island.
Early morning today, a CBP Caribbean Air and Marine branch aircraft detected a single engine outboard vessel, with several occupants on board moving eastward without navigational lights.
A CBP marine unit intercepted the vessel approximately four nautical miles northwest of the Aguada, Puerto Rico.
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Farallon assisted transferring from the vessel 23 males and three females claiming Dominican nationality and one male who claimed to be from Cuba.
Following the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) operating procedures the crew of the Farallon collected and processed the alien's biographical information, including taking their digital fingerprints and facial photographs, to determine if they had any criminal or illegal immigration history in the United States or a U.S. Territory.
Ramey Border Patrol Agents boarded the USCG cutter to conduct formal immigration interviews on all aliens.
Six aliens were found to have prior immigration records and will be transported to the Ramey Border Patrol Station for formal prosecution.
The remaining aliens will be repatriated by the U.S. Coast Guard later today.
The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection,, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation's Caribbean borders.
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.