After a decade-long $12 million investment, municipal and territorial law enforcement make a difference in protecting the border
AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico –The Ramey Border Patrol sector announced Tuesday the award of $2.6 million under the FY 2020 Operation Stonegarden grant program for territorial and municipal law enforcement partners in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
“Since he inception in our area of the Operation Stonegarden grant program, local partners have been able to receive additional funding to augment operations and to assist us in our coastal border enforcements,” stated Xavier Morales, Chief Patrol Agent of the Ramey Sector.
In 2009, a $530,000 grant supported the equipment needs of the municipal police in Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo and Lajas.
The announced award benefits law enforcement for the Puerto Rico Police Department Joint Forces for Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the Virgin Islands Police Department, and the municipal police departments for Aguadilla, Aguada, Barceloneta, Cabo Rojo, Carolina, Isabela, Manati and Ponce.
During a 10-year period, collaborations between Operation Stonegarden participants and the Ramey Border Patrol Sector have resulted in the seizure of well over 6,400 pounds of narcotics worth over $45 million and the apprehension of over 2,000 illegal immigrants.
In Mar. 2015, a joint operation with FURA produced the seizure of 2,513 pounds (1,140 kilos) of cocaine valued at $32 million.
The Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG) enhances cooperation and coordination from the U.S. Border Patrol with local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the border.
The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector's entire border area is coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.
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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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.