News and Press Releases

FOUR DEFENDANTS SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY ENTERING UNITED STATES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, Matthew A. Zetts, Chief, U.S. Border Patrol, and Rear Admiral Steve Branham, Commander, 7th Coast Guard District, announced today the sentencing of four defendants in an alien smuggling case.

The captain of the smuggling boat, Geno Rolle, 27, of the Bahamas, was sentenced last Friday to 11 years and 3 months imprisonment. Today, United States District Court Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp sentenced co-defendant Edgar Lanau to 82 months imprisonment, co-defendant Royan Walters to 41 months imprisonment, co-defendant Tracy Joseph to 78 months, and co-defendant Jean Simbert to 63 months imprisonment. All of the defendants were sentenced for attempting to illegally enter the United States aboard Rolle’s boat. A fifth passenger, Audley Similien, was also convicted of attempting to illegally re-enter the United States after having been previously deported, and was sentenced to 41 months imprisonment.

According to court documents, the smuggling boat was first detected by Customs and Border Protection pilots on August 29, 2009, at approximately 11:45 pm, as the boat approached the shore of West Palm Beach. The boat was traveling at almost 45 miles per hour, without any navigational lights. The five passengers, all of whom had previously been convicted of aggravated felony offenses – including drug trafficking, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and attempted armed robbery with a firearm – were attempting to surreptitiously re-enter the United States. Geno Rolle, the captain of the boat, had also been previously deported from the United States.

Rolle was found guilty after a jury trial of two counts of aiding and assisting aggravated felons with entering the United States and one count of illegally re-entering the United States. Four of the passengers were found guilty after a jury trial and the fifth pled guilty.

Mr. Sloman commended ICE’s Office of Investigations, U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard for their investigation of this matter.

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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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