News and Press Releases


Bahamian and Jamaican Nationals Sentenced for Marijuana Importation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the sentencings of Quinton Mitchell, 31, of Sweeting’s Cay Settlement, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas and Leroy Anthony Edwards a/k/aRoy Anthony Elliot,” 57, of Kingston Jamaica. Both defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez to five years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release.

Mitchell pled guilty on January 28, 2014, to conspiracy to import a controlled substance –100 kilograms or more of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952(a), 963 and 960(b)(2).

Edwards pled guilty on January 28, 2014, to importation of a controlled substance – 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952(a), and 960(b)(2) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. Edwards also pled guilty to being a previously removed alien after deportation, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a)(1).

According to documents filed with the Court, on November 22, 2013, eyewitnesses observed a vessel capsize in the waters off of the Jupiter Island shoreline. Three males made it to shore. One ran away from the scene. Leroy Anthony Edwards, a Jamaican national, was rescued from the surf and resuscitated by a good samaritan. Edwards, who was in critical condition from the drowning, was transported to the hospital by a rescue team. Mitchell, who was identified as the boat captain, was captured by Jupiter Island Police Department Officers and Martin County Sheriff’s Office Deputies while in flight from the scene. Mitchell admitted to detectives that he was approached while in the Bahamas to transport the marijuana along with another Bahamian, and two Jamaican nationals to the U.S. because he had boat driving experience. Mitchell said when they arrived a few miles from the Florida coastline, they began to have engine difficulty and later when the boat entered the rough surf, it capsized. Martin County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene investigators found that the recovered bales contained marijuana, weighing approximately 236 kilograms. Authorities are still searching for the two other passengers that were on-board the boat.

Immigration records reflected that Edwards was previously removed from the U.S. in 2001 under the name of Roy Anthony Elliott, and again in 2012, after presenting a fraudulent legal permanent resident card at the Port Everglades Seaport.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, DEA. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Jupiter Island Police Department, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Florida Fish and Wildlife. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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