MIAMI -- The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered captured 11 migrants and two suspected smugglers aboard an unlit vessel about 12 miles east of Miami in Government Cut on Saturday night.
They will all be returned to their countries of origin.
According to a Coast Guard release issued Wednesday, the cutter crew saw a 26-foot boat and interdicted seven Haitians, three Bahamians, two Ecuadorians and one Bolivian and put them in the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Sunday.
They did not identify the suspected smugglers.
"These migrant smuggling operations and ventures seek to exploit our maritime border and the short distances between Caribbean nations like the Bahamas and the United States," said Cmdr. Luis Rodriguez, Coast Guard 7th District response duty officer, in the release.
Rodriguez said this case is a clear example of Coast Guard and interagency and allied networks' mission.
"Those attempting to enter the country illegally by sea will be returned to their country of origin, and this case is no exception," he said.
The Robert Yered is a 154-foot sentinel class cutter based in Miami, according to the Coast Guard.
In June, 50 Haitian migrants were repatriated to Haiti by the Coast Guard. The migrants were on an overcrowded sailboat that was intercepted near Cuban waters.
In April, two Coast Guard Cutter Reliance smallboat crews approached an overloaded 70-foot Haitian migrant sail freighter about 30 miles northeast of Moa, Cuba. The cutter crew transferred 50 migrants to the Reliance and repatriated them.
In March, two overloaded boats carrying a total of 201 Haitians were intercepted by the Coast Guard near the Bahamas.
This article is written by By Howard Cohen from Miami Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.