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Bahamaian fisherman guilty of smuggling immigrants into US by DANA SMITH February 08,2013   |  Source: Tribune 242

A Bahamian fisherman pleaded guilty in a United States court on charges of attempting to smuggle illegal migrants into the country after being offered $20,000 for the job.

According to Florida court documents filed on Tuesday, 52-year-old Preston Russell was found last year on November 14 piloting a vessel off the coast of Florida with seven Brazils and one Dominican Republic national on board.

#He admitted to US law enforcement at the scene, he was paid $6,000 up-front to smuggle the passengers into the United States from Grand Bahama, with a promise of $14,000 on his return.

#He was found around 4:30am. US Customs and Border Protection and the US Coast Guard from Fort Pierce had responded to reports of a single-engine vessel, approximately 25 feet in length, located around 20.5 miles north of Stuart, Florida.

#The vessel was operating with no navigation lights, had no identifiers on the vessel, and was riding low in the water, court documents say.

#Law enforcement agents met Russell and eight passengers – three women and five men – on board. The boat was towed and the party was taken to the Coast Guard Station in Fort Pierce. There, Russell told authorities why he was piloting the ship to Florida.

#He said he was approached by a Brazilian man named Marcos

 

© 2013 Ellington

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