CBP, CG Team Intercept Stowaways

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A joint federal team was mobilized Sunday, Nov. 30, to investigate a report of three stowaways aboard a barge off of Mobile, Ala. The team was made up of members from U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection and the Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station in Mobile received a call Sunday from the Captain of the tug/barge Ann T. Cheramie/Crimson Tide in reference to three stowaways onboard the vessel. At approximately 4:30 p.m. the vessel was secured at the Alabama State Dock’s River Pier and boarded. The joint boarding team completed an extensive search of the vessel, finding an additional stowaway for a total of four.

The stowaways were escorted off the vessel and transported to the Mobile Border Patrol station for processing, where it was determined that they were from the Dominican Republic and had all been previously removed from the United States.

During further record checks it was discovered that one of the subjects, Edward Lugo-Mejilla, had an outstanding warrant from New York City for dangerous drugs. Lugo-Mejilla is being held at the Mobile Metropolitan Jail pending extradition to New York. Two of the subjects to include Lugo-Mejilla are being prosecuted as stowaways and the remaining two were returned to the vessel for detention and removal.

CBP Border Patrol agents and officers from CBP’s port security operations joined Coast Guard personnel on the boarding team.

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