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26165: 26159: Hermantin(News)Coast Guard intercepts boat loaded with Haitians (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Posted on Fri, Sep. 02, 2005
Coast Guard intercepts boat loaded with Haitians
A boat full of Haitian migrants with a woman who is about nine months' pregnant
was intercepted by the Coast Guard.
BY WANDA J. DeMARZO
The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a boatload of Haitian migrants Thursday
morning, little over a week after they snared another boat of Haitian migrants
loaded with $450,000 worth of hashish oil, authorities said.
The Coast Guard would not say where Thursday's migrant boat was stopped, and
The Herald was unable to reach the U.S. Border Patrol, which has responsibility
for returning them to Haiti.
The boat, carrying 21 migrants, was spotted before 11 a.m., by the Coast Guard
Cutter Gannet, based in Fort Lauderdale.
As guardsmen transferred the migrants to the Gannet, a woman who is about nine
months pregnant began complaining of pain. She was taken to the Fort Lauderdale
Coast Guard Station, according to 7th District Petty Officer Dana Warr.
Hollywood Fire Rescue rushed the woman to Memorial Regional Hospital in
Hollywood. Her condition was not available Thursday.
If she delivers birth before being returned to Haiti, then by law, she will be
allowed to stay in the U.S. with her child. However, it was not known yesterday
how close she was to having her baby.
The other migrants will most likely be repatriated, said Zack Mann, senior
special agent and spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Mann noted that the other boat that was stopped, on Aug. 24, was carrying more
than just people.
The U.S. Customs officers intercepted the 23-foot boat just after midnight,
about 9 miles off the coast of Haulover Beach in North Dade. Marine enforcement
officers boarded the boat and found $8,920 in U.S. currency and 90 pounds of
hashish oil worth more than $450,000.
Officers arrested Jose Rios, 32, believed to be the captain of the boat, at the
They later discovered that the boat had been reported stolen from a local boat
rental agency the day before.
All 13 migrants were turned over to the Coast Guard for repatriation. The
narcotics, currency and Rios, whose last known address was in Fort Lauderdale,
were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Miami Office of
Investigations. Rios has been charged with alien and drug smuggling.
Mann said it is very unusual to find Hashish contraband with migrants trying to
enter the country by boat.
''It's very unusual. Most of it goes to Canada, but we do see it from time to
time -- more often in cargo shipments out of Jamaica,'' he said.