Coast Guard repatriates 3 Dominicans and 10 Cubans to La Romana, Dominican Republic
2 other Dominicans detained to face judicial proceedings ashore
Sector San Juan
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: August 30, 2011
Contact: Ricardo Castrodad
(787) 510-7923

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo repatriated three Dominicans and 10 Cubans to La Romana, Dominican Republic Tuesday, following an at-sea interdiction Saturday and a migrant rescue Sunday in the Mona Passage.

Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement agents detained two other Dominicans from both cases to face judicial proceedings ashore. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Puerto Rico agreed to file charges and prosecute one of the Dominicans for migrant smuggling, while the other will be facing charges for attempted illegal reentry into a United States Territory.

Sunday’s rescue:

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Watchstanders received a report Sunday from Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents, who reported apprehending two Dominican migrants in the vicinity of Rincón, Puerto Rico. The apprehended migrants notified CBP Border Patrol Agents that there were reportedly 10 people aboard the boat and that an unknown number of migrants were thrown overboard an unknown distance from shore.

The crew of an Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter was launched to search for any possible people remaining in the water, while the Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo and a Civil Air Patrol aircraft were diverted to assist. Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA) marine and helicopter units also responded to the scene and rescued four migrants from the water. Upon completing the rescue, a Puerto Rico Police maritime unit transferred custody of the four rescued migrants to the crew of the Key Largo.

“This is just another example of the ruthless character smugglers display by risking the lives of the people they try to smuggle across the Mona Passage,