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Puerto Rico authorities apprehend 67 undocumented migrants
Published on March 7, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico -- US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Coast Guard (USCG) apprehended 67 undocumented migrants in three separate incursions in Puerto Rico from February 28 to March 2. The undocumented migrants attempted to enter through the Mona and Monito islands on board makeshift wooden vessels. One female migrant was found deceased on Thursday near the shore on Mona Island.

On Wednesday, Raul Kelli-Green, Pedro DeLa Cruz-Garcia and Antonio Mercedes, all citizens of the Dominican Republic, were due to make an initial appearance before a US District Court Magistrate Judge for charges of illegally bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States and aiding and abetting on the preceding action. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP Border Patrol presented a joint complaint against the defendants to Assistant US Attorney Evelyn Canals who accepted the case for prosecution.

Last Thursday, USCG and CBP assets completed the rescue and transfer of 61 migrants from two separate landings. From Mona Island, the USCG MH-65 dolphin helicopter and CAMB UH-60 Black Hawk retrieved 28 aliens, 25 citizens of Haiti and 3 citizens of the Dominican Republic. One female was found deceased in the water near the Mona Island coastline. From Monito Island, the USCG cutter Key Largo rescued 33 aliens, 26 citizens of Haiti and seven citizens of Cuba.

On Saturday morning, USCG Sector San Juan contacted the CBP Ramey Sector Border Patrol and reported the landing of six Cuban migrants into Playa Pajaros on Mona Island.

The undocumented migrants were transported by to the Mayaguez port where CBP Border Patrol agents assumed custody. The migrants were transported to the Ramey Station for processing under US immigration law.

The body of the deceased female was handed over on Thursday to the Puerto Rico District Attorney for investigation.

On February 16, CBP and USCG operatives intercepted a wooden vessel 22 miles northwest of Puerto Rico with 38 migrants from the Dominican Republic.
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