U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released a summary of fiscal year (FY) 2019 border enforcement efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This Caribbean area effort is possible through collaborative operations and partnerships with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, which have become an integral part of CBP’s procedures, in order to manage illicit activity throughout the area.
Overall enforcement actions by CBP components in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are here summarized:
Narcotics: 90,852.08 pounds/ Currency: $44 Million
CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) played a major role in the determent of illegal activity throughout the coasts, through the coordinated use of integrated air and marine forces to detect, interdict and prevent the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband in the area. Air and Marine Operations agents seized 67,615 pounds of narcotics and $28 million in currency.
Throughout Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 1,434 aliens were apprehended for the federal fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. The Ramey Border Patrol Sector arrested and processed 562 aliens; other federal, state and local partners interdicted at-sea 876 aliens.
Aliens with prior criminal histories represented 28 percent of the total apprehensions. Ramey Border Patrol presented 159 aliens for federal criminal prosecution, 83 of which had prior felony criminal convictions. Border Patrol agents seized 6,010 pounds of narcotics.
After a decade-long $12 million investment, with the Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG) municipal and territorial law enforcement have been able to work with the Ramey Border Patrol Sector to make a difference in protecting the border. Enforcement actions have resulted in the seizure of well over 6,400 pounds of narcotics, worth over $45 million, and the apprehension of over 2,000 illegal immigrants.
CBP officers and agriculture specialists work to protect the borders at the ports of entry while facilitating legitimate trade and travel. CBP processed 4,947,511 million travelers and 115,008 containers through the P.R. and V.I. ports of entry during FY 2019.
During this time, CBP officers seized 17,227 pounds of narcotics and arrested 77 individuals, of which 23 were wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault and robbery. CBP officers also denied entry to more than 737 people attempting to illegally enter the U.S. through air or sea ports of entry in Puerto Rico or the USVI. Furthermore, $16 million of undeclared currency was seized and over 34 firearms.
In addition, this fiscal year, CBP in the San Juan Field Office processed nearly 35,531,735 imported product entries representing nearly 25.3 billion in regional trade volume. This volume represented the collection of $230,935,549 in revenue for the U.S. CBP officers conducted more than 3,886 seizures of related Intellectual Property Rights violations, with a domestic value of approximately $38,733,569 million.
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