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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Bill to honor fallen marine interdiction agent passes US House committee

Marine Interdiction Agent Michel O. Maceda (The Officer Down Memorial Page)

By The Star Staff

The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security passed Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón’s bill -- H.R. 5302, the Michel O. Maceda Memorial Act -- to rename the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Mayagüez Marine Unit in Cabo Rojo in honor of Marine Interdiction Agent Michel O. Maceda, who died in the line of duty in 2022 during a drug interdiction operation off Puerto Rico’s coast.

“Today marks a significant step to honor the memory of Marine Interdiction Agent Michel O. Maceda, a brave CBP AMO official who tragically lost his life in the line of duty after being shot by drug smugglers during a maritime interdiction …,” González Colón said Thursday. “The House Homeland Security Committee’s passage of my bill to rename AMO’s Mayagüez Marine Unit in his honor serves as a bipartisan recognition of his bravery and sacrifice. Congressionally designating the facility with Agent Maceda’s name will not only memorialize his legacy, but it will also serve as a reminder of the threats our CBP and federal law enforcement officers confront each day to protect our nation.”

Rep. Mark E. Green (R-Tenn.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, added: “I am proud to commemorate Agent Maceda’s courageous service and ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty by renaming the Air and Marine Unit in Puerto Rico in honor of his heroic legacy.”

“Our country is safer because of the tireless work of the men and women of Customs and Border Protection,” he said. “As a fellow Army veteran, I am deeply appreciative of Agent Maceda’s commitment to answering the call of duty, and his life is a reminder of the true price paid for freedom and security. We owe him an immense debt of gratitude for wearing the badge and the uniform.”

Maceda passed away on Nov.17, 2022 from injuries sustained while performing a boarding operation with two other agents on a target of interest off the shore of Puerto Rico. Onboard the target vessel, one of the occupants pulled a firearm and shot all three marine interdiction agents, killing Maceda and seriously injuring his two partners.

The fallen agent had served as a marine interdiction agent with AMO’s Mayagüez Marine Unit in Puerto Rico. He started his CBP career on April 11, 2016, as a Border Patrol agent in Douglas, Arizona, and transferred to AMO on Jan. 31, 2021. Maceda served in the United States Army prior to joining CBP. He is survived by his daughter, parents and brother.

“Renaming the CBP Air and Marine Operations Mayagüez Unit in Puerto Rico after Agent Maceda is one way we can show our appreciation for his sacrifice and ensure his service is never forgotten,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). “I want to thank Representative González Colón for her leadership on this bill and look forward to it passing the House of Representatives and the Senate quickly and being signed into law.”

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