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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

Captain and co-defendant sentenced in deadly smuggling operation

MIAMI - Two Bahamian nationals were sentenced to prison today for their participation in an alien smuggling conspiracy that resulted in the death of an alien, following an investigation led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro sentenced Tyrel Levarity, 23, to 210 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release. Co-defendant Ahmad Toussaint, 24, was sentenced to 168 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release.

On Feb. 23, ICE HSI special agents responded to Miami's Black Point Marina in Homestead, Fla., 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 vessel, outfitted with twin Yamaha outboard engines, was heading toward the Florida coast at high speed. CBP personnel aboard a surveillance aircraft witnessed the Florida Park Service attempting to stop the 28-foot vessel, giving chase and displaying the customary flashing red and blue lights. The vessel reached land and all the individuals aboard ran into the mangroves. Subsequently, one of the passengers was discovered dead in the water, approximately 30 feet from shore.

The investigation was conducted by ICE HSI in Miami, CBP Air and Marine Branch, the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Florida Parks Service.