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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

5 foreign nationals charged in deadly smuggling operation

MIAMI - One Bahamian national was charged in Tuesday night's failed deadly migrant smuggling operation at Black Point Marina in Homestead, Fla., following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation. An additional four migrants were criminally charged with having illegally re-entered the United States after being deported.

Davon Rolle, 19, of the Bahamas, was charged via criminal complaint with alien smuggling. David Coore, 27, and Delroy Coombs, 45, both of Jamaica; Mathura Bridgelal, 50, of Trinidad; and Tyrel Levarity, 23, of the Bahamas, were all charged with illegal re-entry.

If convicted, Rolle faces up to five years in prison; Bridgelal faces up to 10 years in prison and Coore, Coombs and Levarity face up to two years in prison.

A 24-year-old Bahamian national encountered during the investigation was charged administratively with being in violation of U.S. immigration law and is currently in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.

According to the charges, on Feb. 23 at approximately 6:20 p.m., ICE special agents responded to Miami's Black Point Marina to assist the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Branch with the interdiction of an inbound go-fast vessel, a 28-foot “Intrepid.” The 28-foot white center console fishing boat, outfitted with twin Yamaha outboard engines, was heading toward the Florida coast at a high rate of speed. CBP personnel witnessed officers of the Miami-Dade Police Department's (MDPD's) Aviation Unit attempting to stop the vessel, giving chase and displaying the customary flashing red and blue lights.

All the individuals on the vessel began to jump overboard and swim ashore towards Black Point Marina. An additional individual from the vessel, later identified as a 28-year-old Jamaican national, was found dead in the water approximately 30 feet from shore. ICE special agents took custody of the migrants and seized approximately 60 pounds of marijuana contained in a duffel bag inside the vessel.

All five defendants had their initial appearances on Feb. 24 in U.S. District Court in Miami and are being held in pre-trial detention pending their bond hearings, which are scheduled for March 1 at 10 a.m.

The investigation was conducted by ICE's Office of Investigations in Miami with the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine branch, U.S. Border Patrol, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Florida Parks Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Parente with the assistance of Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Styron.