Human TraffickingMigrationNews

Four Locals Arrested for Transporting Migrants After a Yola with over 50 Migrants Makes Landfall Near Isabela, Puerto Rico

US Border Patrol agents arrested Monday four US citizens found transporting non-citizens during the search for a group of over 50 migrants which landed on makeshift vessel near Pozo Teodoro Beach in Isabela. 

Earlier in the morning, Border Patrol agents detected a vessel 6 miles north of Isabela.  Agents notified Puerto Rico Police Department FURA marine Units and the United States Coast Guard who attempted to intercept the vessel at sea, however, the smuggling vessel failed to heave and made landfall. 

Border Patrol agents responded to area and were able to apprehend 26 undocumented non-citizens.   Later in the morning agents continued to search for subjects and encountered an additional nine non-citizens. 

During the extensive search Border Patrol agents encountered a suspicious vehicle near Calle La Mina, in Isabela, stopping the vehicle and apprehending four non-citizens. The two United States citizens within the vehicle were arrested.

Later Border Patrol agents encountered a suspicious vehicle near Downtown Isabela, PR. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield and after a brief pursuit the driver crashed into another civilian vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle immediately bailed out; however, the driver of the vehicle was immediately arrested.

Agents and the Isabela Municipal Police were able to apprehend one non-citizen and an additional USC that had absconded. 

Agents apprehended a total of 35 non-citizens: 16 males from the Dominican Republic, 12 males from Haiti, 5 females from the Dominican Republic and 2 females from Haiti.

From interviews Border Patrol agents assume that about 20 non-citizens are outstanding.  

“The public should be aware that transporting and harboring non-citizens that are illegally present in the United States is a felony,” stated Desi DeLeon, Chief Patrol Agent for Ramey Sector.   “We encourage the public to contact us anonymously.” 

The Ramey Sector is one of the twenty-one Sectors spread out across the United States. Encompassing the U.S. territorial islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it is the only Border Patrol Sector located outside the continental United States. The Sector’s entire border area is made up of coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the twelve-mile band of territorial water surrounding the Islands.