United States

6 in Custody for Suspected Human Smuggling Off Fort Lauderdale: US Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard took six people into custody from a boat off the coast of Fort Lauderdale in a suspected human smuggling case.

A Coast Guard crew conducted a "safety boarding" of the 36-foot cabin cruiser about 11 miles east of Fort Lauderdale Tuesday, officials said.

The boat operator said they had two people on board but authorities found four others, officials said. The passengers included one person who claimed to be a U.S. citizen, three Jamaicans, one Jordanian, and one Israeli.

The Coast Guard transferred the six people to U.S. Border Patrol agents in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday. They could face prosecution, officials said.

"These smuggling operations and illicit networks care nothing about the people who put their lives and money in their hands," Coast Guard Capt. Aldante Vinciguerra said in a statement. "They callously risk both their passengers' and the public's lives. We will continue to work with all of our partners to foil their efforts and save lives."

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