Local March 29, 2019 | 1:08 pm

US Border Patrol arrests 5 Dominicans, 2 Venezuelans in US VI

THOMAS, Virgin Islands -U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Sunday 7 aliens from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela after making an illegal entry into St. John.

On Mar. 24, with the assistance of a CBP Air and Marine aircraft, Ramey Border Patrol agents detected a white vessel approaching from Tortola, BVI into Leinster Bay, which debarked a group on the shoreline.

“Ramey Border Patrol Sector strategically moves resources and works with law enforcement partners within key locations around Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands,” stated Xavier Morales, Ramey Sector<https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/along-us-borders/border-patrol-sectors/ramey-sector-aguadilla-puerto-rico> Chief Patrol Agent in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The agents observed the group board a red Suzuki vehicle, which agents later stopped.  All passengers were illegally present in the United States.

The driver and the initial passenger were citizens of the Dominican Republic residing in St. John. Five individuals were smuggled into the island; three citizens of the Dominican Republic and two Venezuelans.

The driver and the initial passenger face charges for violation of title 8 USC 1324, for bringing and harboring aliens.  The rest of the group faces charges for violation of title 8 USC 1325 for improper entry by an alien.

With the Operation Stonegarden Grant Program<https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-operation-stonegarden-partners-seize-340-pounds-cocaine-one-man> (OPSG) law enforcement agencies in the island work with the U.S. Border Patrol in a joint mission to secure the Virgin Islands’ coastal areas.