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4 men charged in failed drug and alien smuggling operation

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations arrested William R. Roberts, 50, Luckson Morin, 38, Guy Derilus, 54, and Alphonse Pierre, 32, for their participation in a failed drug and alien smuggling operation.

William R. Roberts, a Bahamian national, is charged with alien smuggling. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison followed by up to three years of supervised release. Luckson Morin and Guy Derilus, both of Fort Lauderdale, are charged with attempting to transport illegal aliens. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison followed by up to three years of supervised release. In addition, Morin and Alphonse Pierre, a Haitian national, are individually charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. If convicted, they face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up to life in prison, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release.

The defendants made their initial appearances in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Frank J. Lynch in Fort Pierce. All four defendants were temporarily detained as flight risks and dangers to the community, pending their detention hearing on Oct. 5.

Their arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 8.

According to the criminal complaint, on Sept. 26, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) vessel encountered the motor vessel "WHO CARES," in the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. CBP Air and Marine officers boarded the vessel and found five persons claiming to be Haitian nationals. CBP officers also found four padlocked carry on-sized pieces of luggage, which contained 78 bricks of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine. Each brick weighed approximately one kilogram.

According to the criminal complaint, Alphonse Pierre, one of the passengers on the boat and Morin's cousin, possessed the keys to open the luggage that contained the cocaine. The complaint also alleges that boat captain William R. Roberts, who claimed to be a Bahamian national, was bringing the others to the United States for the purpose of financial gain, and had been coordinating the delivery of the five individuals with someone known to Roberts as "Nixon," later identified as Luckson Morin.

On Sept. 27, an undercover ICE special agent accompanied Roberts to a meeting with Morin at the Sailfish Marina in Stuart, Fla., to purportedly complete the delivery of the foreign nationals. Guy Derilus accompanied Morin at this meeting. During the meeting, Morin promised Roberts $3,000 per kilogram of cocaine for his unwitting transportation of the cocaine from the Bahamas. After the meeting, ICE special agents arrested Morin and Derilus.