Specifically, according to Capt. Jason Ryan, chief of enforcement for the Coast Guard 7th District, although the operation seems to be a success, it is a challenge of a serious threat to Puerto Rico's national security and maritime borders.
He continued stating that along with other DHS components and local law enforcement partners, they will keep on patrolling through out the Caribbean Basin and Florida Straits to stem the flow of maritime smuggling and criminal organizations.
On January 10, 27 migrants were sent to the Dominican Republic, while the remaining 8 were transmitted into the custody of the Department of Justice’s District of Puerto Rico for further investigation and possible prosecution.
According to the Coast Guard, one of the individuals is a suspected smuggler who is being investigated for participation in previous smuggling operations in which several migrants lost their lives.
Many incidents have taken place, according to the Coast Guard's statement.
For instance, on December 24, a vessel with 4 migrants onboard were interdicted about 17 miles northeast of Samana, Dominican Republic and Coast Guard crews found approximately 100 kilograms of cocaine aboard.
Additionally, on November 10, a 22-foot migrant yola vessel with 20 migrants aboard was interdicted approximately 3 miles northwest of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and Coast Guard crews found approximately 248 milliliters of Fentanyl aboard.
What's more, once the Coast Guard interdicts people, aboard the cutter, all of them receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.
The cutters Heriberto Hernandez, is a 154-foot fast response cutters homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.