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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Resident commissioner’s proposal would name maritime facility after fallen federal agent

Marine interdiction agent Michel O. Maceda

By The Star Staff

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón introduced legislation (HR 5302) to honor the memory of federal agent Michel O. Maceda, who died in the line of duty while conducting a drug interdiction operation off Puerto Rico’s southwest coast last year.

The resolution seeks to name the Mayagüez Maritime Unit of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Maritime Operations (AMO) in honor of the agent.

CBP AMO has begun construction of a new building for the Mayagüez Maritime Unit in the municipality of Cabo Rojo to support its critical border security mission in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region. HR 5302 would designate the facility as the Michel O. Maceda Marine Unit.

“Agent Maceda’s death is a stark reminder of the dangers facing our CBP agents. It is also a testament to their unwavering commitment to protecting our nation’s borders and keeping our communities safe,” the resident commissioner said.”I firmly believe that designating AMO’s Mayagüez Maritime Unit facilities in his name would be a well-deserved tribute to the memory and sacrifice of Agent Maceda.”

“Maritime interdiction agent Michel O. Maceda was a true professional, dedicated to protecting others. He will never be forgotten,” CBP Air and Marine Operations Executive Commissioner Jonathan Miller said. “Agent Maceda made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect his nation.”

On Nov. 17, 2022, maritime interdiction agent Maceda and two fellow agents boarded a suspected contraband vessel southwest of Puerto Rico. During the interdiction, one of the drug traffickers opened fire on the three agents, wounding two and mortally wounding Maceda.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy recently recognized Agent Maceda, CBP AMO’s Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, with the 2022 Maritime Interdiction Award for this operation, which resulted in the seizure of more than 2,800 pounds of cocaine.

Maceda began his CBP career in April 2016 as a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Douglas, Arizona. In 2021, he transferred to AMO and served as a maritime interdiction agent at the Mayagüez Maritime Unit in Cabo Rojo until the time of his death.

Maceda, who served honorably in the U.S. Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic before joining CBP, is survived by his daughter, brother and parents.

The measure filed by González Colón is backed by U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) and Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), Amata Radewagen (R-Ark.), Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) and John Rutherford (R-Fla).

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