From cruise ship to jail cell: A case of mistaken identity landed woman behind bars for 6 days

NJ Media

Acting on a 2013 warrant out of South Jersey, Customs and Border Patrol agents took [Yarelis] Rivera into custody when she got off the boat [on Dec. 20, 2019], but failed to verify her identity and detained the wrong person, she said.

Rivera fit all the identifying information in the warrant, Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson Anthony Bucci said in an emailed statement. Everything matched: her name, birth date, weight, hair color, and eye color.

The warrant had been filed by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office for a charge of failing to appear for a pre-arraignment interview, Cumberland County officials confirmed. The person on the warrant was charged with making false reports to law enforcement. It was dated Dec. 23, 2013.

CBP passed her to PortAuthority police, then to the HudsonCnty[NJ] jail.  For another unexplained reason, it took 4 days to transfer her to Cumberland County jail.

…It was there, for the first time in her four-day-long detention, that officers decided to run her fingerprints, she said.

When they did, “a big red X came up” on the computer. “It took less than 5 seconds,” she said. “They were all in shock.”

But her time in custody lasted another 2 days.

Article submitted by, A Non Ymous.