Human smugglers left seven people on an island that’s in the path of Tropical Storm Dorian, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Puerto Rico office says.
Customs says Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources rangers found the six men and one woman claiming to be from the Dominican Republic on Mona Island, which is about halfway between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The seven were flown to an airport by Coast Guard and Customs helicopters.
“This is a clear example how human smuggling organizations have complete disregard for the safety of the people they transport and assume that law enforcement is not vigilant,” said a statement from Xavier Morales, Chief CBP Patrol Agent of the Ramey Sector. “They placed these individuals in the direct path of this tropical storm making them believe they made it to the main island of the archipelago of Puerto Rico.”
Customs says since the first Tropical Storm Watch, they’ve taken into custody 72 migrants and 42 pounds of an illegal substance, a street value of $477,272 in Puerto Rico and at least $1.05 million in Miami.