San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) interdicted a vessel yesterday that attempted to make illegal entry into the western coast of the island. Eight aliens, citizens of the Dominican Republic, were arrested.
Early morning yesterday, 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 vessel intercepted the vessel approximately 23 nautical miles northwest of Desecheo Island, finding eight individuals on board, claiming to be citizens of the Dominican Republic.
All eight aliens were transported to the Border Patrol Station for immigration processing.
Ramey Sector Border Patrol agents conducted formal immigration interviews, verified immigration databases and found that six aliens had prior records.
Five aliens, Miguel Peguero-Carela, Confesor Cabrera, Rafael Rodriguez-Morales, Jose Villa-Mercedes, and Jose Villa-Mercedes, will be charged with attempting to re-enter the U.S. after a previous deportation, a felony, and one alien, Junior Contreras, will be charged for attempting to enter at a place not designated by immigration officers, a misdemeanor.
The remaining two aliens were removed via an immigration administrative procedure.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Evelyn Canals accepted the case for prosecution.
The defendants will make an initial appearance before U.S. District Court on Thursday.
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.