Miami, FL–The Coast Guard interdicted five migrants and one suspected smuggler approximately 15 miles east of Jupiter, Florida on Saturday.
A Coast Guard Air Station HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew detected an 18-foot center console with its lights out at approximately 5 a.m. during a patrol and reported the sighting to Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders. The watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crew and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Gannet crew to interdict.
After making the interdiction, the cutter Gannet crew embarked six males aboard the cutter and placed the vessel in tow. The nationalities of those stopped were two Sri Lankan, two Brazilian, one Jamaican, and one Bahamian. The cutter crew transferred all six ashore to U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations.The vessel being used to conduct the smuggling operation was transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations as evidence.