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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 16, 2024


April 19, 2004 – Local and federal officials picked up 19 illegal migrants in three groups on and around St. John and St. Thomas's East End on Sunday, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said on Monday.
Three women and one man from the Dominican Republic were detained in Coral Bay around 8 a.m. Sunday by police and V.I. National Park rangers who were acting on a tip from residents, Customs spokesman Ivan Ortiz said by telephone from Puerto Rico.
The four were found to not have proper immigration papers and were turned over to Customs agents, he said.
While patrolling the area, Customs agents found another seven men from the Dominican Republic standing on a St. John beach. They were found to have entered the country illegally, Ortiz said.
He said the men told agents they had been traveling with eight other men when their homemade boat sank. The seven said they swam to Little St. James off St. Thomas's East End while other eight made for Dog Island, just to the southeast.
It was not immediately clear how the men traveled more than seven miles over sea and land from Little St. James to Coral Bay.
Ortiz said Customs agents searched Dog Island and found three men on the shore and another five hiding nearby. All were undocumented migrants from the Dominican Republic, he said.
All 19 of the illegal aliens may have been in the territory for more than a week before they were apprehended, Ortiz said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office will prosecute the migrants for illegal entry, a misdemeanor, Ortiz said. All 19 were being detained at the Golden Grove Correctional Facility on St. Croix.

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