(CMC) — The United States Coast Guard law enforcement teams have interdicted several Caribbean nationals in a suspected human smuggling venture off the south coast of Florida.
According to Coast Guard officials, the suspects — two Bahamians, seven Jamaicans, two Haitians and four from the Dominican Republic, were nabbed last Wednesday in a 29-foot vessel about five miles off West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Some passengers were brought ashore for further investigation of potential criminal charges by Homeland Security Investigations and the remaining passengers were repatriated to the Bahamas Friday,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The US Coast Guard said a CBP AMO aircraft notified Coast Guard Station Miami watchstanders of the suspected smuggling vessel at about 12:20 am (local time).
“Wednesday’s case spotlights the great work done every day by Air and Marine and our DHS partners,” said John Priddy, Executive Director of the AMO Southeast Region. “With our integrated operations, we get the job done and protect our homeland.”
Since October 1, 2020, the US Coast Guard said crews have interdicted 78 Bahamians, eight Jamaicans, 182 Haitians, 194 Dominican Republicans compared to fiscal year 2020, October 1, 2019 — September 30, 2020, in which crews interdicted 194 Bahamians, four Jamaicans, 418 Haitians and 1,117 Dominican Republicans.