Aguadilla, Puerto Rico - A citizen of the Dominican Republic faces charges of violating federal immigration laws after the US Border Patrol Agents apprehended him in St. Thomas, USVI.
Gregorio Arias-Arias, a native of Bani, Dominican Republic, appeared yesterday before a Magistrate Judge at the US District Court for the District of the United States Virgin Islands accused of entering into the United States at a place other than a designated port of entry by immigration officers.
Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents apprehended Mr. Arias-Arias near the Contant Bambushe Restaurant in St. Thomas after conducting an immigration status interview.
At the Cyril E. King Airport, Border Patrol Agents verified Mr. Arias-Arias status through criminal and immigration databases, finding that Border Patrol had apprehended him in St. John during the summer of 2009.
The Border Patrol presented the case to the United States Attorney Office who accepted the case for prosecution, lead by Assistant United States Attorney Ishmael Meyers.
If convicted the defendant faces a fine or imprisonment for no more than 2 years or both. All defendants are presumed innocent until they are found guilty by a court of law.
This case demonstrates a joint working effort by federal agencies on the island to secure operational control against illegal aliens who attempt to penetrate U.S. borders. As the U.S. Border Patrol scales up enforcement and interdiction efforts, it relies on inter agency cooperation to enforce immigration and criminal law in United State's territorial waters.
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.