U.S. Coast Guard Intercepts Unlawful Migrant Voyage in Help of Operation Caribbean Guard

File reviews revealed a criminal and immigration history for a migrant

Coastguard cutter Robert Yered (WPC-1104) returned 20 of 21 migrants to a Dominican Republic Navy ship on Wednesday after illegal migrant travel was banned in Mona Passage west of Puerto Rico. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

(US COAST GUARD) – Coastguard cutter Robert Yered returned 20 of 21 migrants to a Dominican Republic Navy ship on Wednesday after illegal migrant travel was banned in Mona Passage, west of Puerto Rico.

The remaining migrant was turned over to U.S. border guards on possible charges of criminal immigration and migrant smuggling in Puerto Rico.

The ban is the result of ongoing efforts by several agencies in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group.

“The crew of the cutter Robert Yering’s response in this case resulted in a swift ban and safe recovery for all migrants,” said Cmdr. Beau Powers, Head of San Juan Sector Response.

“The danger migrants face during this and almost all attempted illegal voyages is very real, especially when entrusting their safety to ruthless smugglers who bring them aboard heavily overloaded and unseaworthy ships with little or no life-saving equipment. These ships take in water throughout the voyage and can overturn easily at any time. “

During a routine patrol Tuesday morning, the cutter’s crew discovered and banned Robert Yered from an illegal migrant voyage, approximately 14 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The migrant group traveled aboard a makeshift 28-foot boat carrying 20 men and one woman who claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals.

The crew of cutter Robert Yered safely embarked the migrants to ensure the safety of life at sea, while an HH-65 Dolphin Coast Guard helicopter provided overhead rescue support from Borinquen Air Station.

After all migrants were embarked, the crew performed biometric processing on the group, which was analyzed by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

The file reviews revealed a criminal and immigration history for a migrant who is being further investigated and exposed to the federal prosecutor’s office.

Once on board a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants will be provided with food, water, shelter and basic medical care.

Throughout the ban, Coast Guard crew members have been provided with personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposure to a possible case of COVID-19.

In this case, no migrants were reported who developed symptoms of COVID-19.

Cutter Robert Yered transported the remaining migrants to the territorial waters of the Dominican Republic off Punta Cana, where the transfer and repatriation of the migrants to the naval authorities of the Dominican Republic was completed.