Coast Guard: Migrant smuggling vessel stopped off Florida


A 20-foot boat floats on the water Jan. 19, 2019 approximately 30 miles east of Sunny Isles, Florida. The Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101) crew interdicted the boat with six people, which included four people who did not have current U.S visas attempting to illegally enter the United States. (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard says its crews intercepted a boat in the Atlantic Ocean with six people trying to enter Florida illegally by sea.

The 20-foot (6-meter) boat was stopped Saturday afternoon about 30 miles (45 kilometers) east of Sunny Isles Beach. In a statement Tuesday, the Coast Guard said two Jamaican men, a Dominican man and a Bahamian man were aboard the vessel, along with two U.S. citizens.

The statement says one migrant had previous drug convictions, and another had previous convictions for drug trafficking, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

The commander of the Coast Guard’s Miami-based 7th district said maritime border security remained a priority amid the partial government shutdown.

Rear Adm. Peter Brown said he was “humbled and inspired” by his crews’ service “during this time of personal financial uncertainty.”

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