The Ramey Border Patrol sector announced the award of $2.6 million under the Fiscal 2020 Operation Stonegarden grant program for territorial and municipal law enforcement partners in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Since he inception in our area of the Operation Stonegarden grant program, local partners have been able to receive additional funding to support their operational needs and work with us to protect our coastal borders,” stated Xavier Morales, chief patrol agent of the Ramey sector, the only Border Patrol sector located outside the continental United States.
The sector’s entire border area is coastline and its area of responsibility is made up of some 6,000 square miles of land and water area, including the 12-mile band of territorial water surrounding the islands.
In 2009, a $530,000 grant supported the equipment needs of the municipal police in Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo and Lajas, the agency said.
The announced award benefits law enforcement for the Puerto Rico Police Department Joint Forces for Rapid Action, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the Virgin Islands Police Department, and the municipal police departments for Aguadilla, Aguada, Barceloneta, Cabo Rojo, Carolina, Isabela, Manati and Ponce.
During a 10-year period, collaborations between Operation Stonegarden participants and the Ramey Border Patrol Sector have resulted in the seizure of more than 6,400 pounds of narcotics worth more than $45 million and the apprehension of more than 2,000 illegal immigrants.
The program has received $12 million in funding in the last decade.