A combined effort by law enforcement authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group intercepted this week a “yola” type vessel with 69 undocumented aliens on board seven miles off the northwestern coast of the island.
Near midnight, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Patrol Aircraft with crews from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch and Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents, located a “yola” type vessel with a significant group of persons on board without navigational lights, approximately 12 nautical miles off the coast of Isabela..
Under constant surveillance by CBP MPA, a Coast Guard Sector San Juan cutter was notified of a 35-foot migrant boat traveling illegally to Puerto Rico, approximately 12 nautical miles off the coast of Isabela.
Coast Guard Cutter Sapelo arrived on scene, with the assistance of a CBP Marine Interceptor and CBP Blackhawk embarked all 69 migrants from their grossly overloaded boat that was taking on water.
The crew of the Sapelo destroyed the migrant boat as a hazard to navigation. They also processed the migrants’ biographical information for the 58 men and 11 women, including taking their digital fingerprints and facial photographs, to determine if they had any criminal or illegal immigration history in the United States or a U.S. territory.