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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Home News Local government U.S. Customs and Border Protection Reviews Enforcement in PR, USVI

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Reviews Enforcement in PR, USVI

Members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection over Caribbean waters. (submitted photo)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a summary on Wednesday of fiscal year (FY) 2020 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.

Since 2017, CBP components in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have had increases in the narcotics and currency seized.

Narcotics

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FY 2017 — 101,307 pounds

FY2018 – 37,378 pounds

FY2019 – 90,852 pounds

FY2020 – 72,111 pounds

Currency

FY 2017 — $7,860,862 pounds

FY 2018 — $8,214,862.72 pounds

FY 2019 — $38,229,437 pounds

FY 2020 — $48,800,000 pounds

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent unpacks narcotics. (submitted photo)

CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) played a major role in the determent of illegal activity throughout our 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. AMO agents seized 39,683 pounds of narcotics and $12 million in currency.

Throughout PR and the USVI, Ramey Border Patrol agents arrested 380 individuals: 356 were illegal aliens and 24 were U.S. citizens.  Out of all the illegal aliens apprehended, 141 (40 percent) had prior criminal history and 72 were prosecuted.  Ramey Border Patrol agents seized 10,490 pounds of narcotics.

Ramey Border Patrol agents, along with AMO and the U.S. Coast Guard, interdicted 1,367 migrants who were then repatriated to the point of embarkation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on the beach. (submitted photo)

During this time, the Office of Field Operations’ CBP officers seized 21,938 pounds of narcotics and arrested 60 individuals, of which 21 were wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault and robbery.

CBP officers also denied entry to more than 5,094 people who were inadmissible to the U.S. through air or seaports of entry in PR or the USVI.  Furthermore, $36. 8 million of undeclared currency was seized.

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