SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CMC) – United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency says border patrol agents arrested seven Caribbean migrants found along with others inside a wooden “yola” type vessel, as they tried to enter the US via Puerto Rico.The CBP reports that the vessel was intercepted by Puerto Rico Police officers near the town of Aguadilla on Sunday.
Francisco Marte, 47, Ramon Villa, 36, both citizens of the Dominican Republic, and Herman Radames Vendryes, 66, from Haiti, were scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
They are facing charges for “attempting to re-enter after a prior removal that was subsequent to a conviction for commission of an aggravated felony.”
CBP said other nationals from the Dominican Republic – Juanel Carpio Guerra, 34, Narciso Antonio Garcia-Jimenez, 45, Jafet Batista Severino, 28, and Manuel Paulino, 36 are also scheduled to appear before the court for “attempting to re-enter after a previous removal.”
“Previously deported aliens [migrants] that have been removed after serving time in our criminal justice system attempt to return concealing themselves among other migrants,” said Ramiro Cerrillo, Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. “We remain vigilant to detect them and arresting them.”
The police report that shortly before midnight on May 14, a vessel was detected approximately 10 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla.
The local Marine Unit intercepted the vessel and rescued two additional nationals from the Dominican Republic who claimed that they had jumped in the water.
CBP said all migrants boarded the US Coast Guard vessel for biometric processing. The police report that one of the migrants rescued from the water, Ramon Antonio Castillo, 51, has two active warrants for arrest from Puerto Rico and New York for homicide charges.
If convicted Marte, Villa and Vendryes face a fine or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both, CBP said.
It also said if convicted Guerra, Garcia-Jimenez, Severino and Paulino face a fine or imprisonment for not more than two years or both.