SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Three citizens of the Dominican Republic will be prosecuted for violation to federal immigration law after being intercepted by the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) while attempting to re-enter the US last weekend.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Agents arrested Sunday Eric Agustín Almanzar-Rodríguez, 45, Agustin Santos-Paulino, 29, and Luis Beltran Ferreiras, 56, after they were found Sunday evening among a group of 12 undocumented migrants inside a wooden vessel intercepted by the US Coast Guard, 57 nautical miles north of Desecheo Island, Puerto Rico.
All three defendants will appear on today before US District Court Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin for an initial appearance regarding federal charges for re-entry after a prior removal. The USCG cutter Cushing transported the migrants to the Mayaguez Port of entry, where Border Patrol Agents assumed custody for immigration processing.
Mr. Almanzar-Rodriguez and Mr. Santos-Paulino are suspected of attempting to re-enter after administrative removals from the United States. Mr. Ferreiras was removed after his arrest by CBP officers at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, when he attempted to re-enter after a previous removal for a 1998 narcotics conviction in New York.
Special Assistant US Attorney Glenn H. Goetchius will lead the prosecution.
If convicted Mr. Ferreiras could be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
If convicted Mr. Almanzar –Rodriguez and Mr. Santos-Paulino could be fined or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law.
The Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Rapid Action Forces (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands borders against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.