Local March 20, 2013 | 8:00 am

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U.S. authorities arrest Dominicans on Mona Island

AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico – U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) apprehended 11 undocumented migrants Friday afternoon, after a partially submerged vessel was found approximately 200 yards off the coast of Mona Island.

The group, 9 Haitians and 2 Dominicans, turned themselves in to Park Rangers of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources stationed in Mona. The USCG Cutter Key Largo transported the migrants to the Port of Mayaguez where U.S. Border Patrol agents assumed custody and transported to the U.S. Border Patrol Ramey Station for processing under U.S. immigration law.

Today Frank Kelly Guerrero-Diaz, 26, and Alexander Torres-Reyes, 29, both citizens of the Dominican Republic, will make an initial appearance before a U.S. District Court magistrate judge for charges of re-entering the United States after a previous deportation. U.S. Border Patrol presented the complaint against the defendants before Assistant U.S. Attorney Evelyn Canals, who accepted the case for prosecution.

Since Feb. 16, law enforcement authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) have apprehended 187 undocumented migrants from Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

CBIG was created to formally unify efforts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, in the common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

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