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U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Coast Guard Team Up to Intercept Stowaways

December 3, 2008
Right Side News
Mobile, Ala. - A joint federal team was mobilized Sunday 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.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing
hundreds of U.S. laws.

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