BAHAMIAN NATIONAL CHARGED WITH MIGRANT SMUGGLING
Four Migrants charged with illegally re-entering the United States after deportation
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations, Rear Admiral Steve Branham, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Harold Woodward, Director of Field Operations, U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP), Randy Donnelson, Director of Air Operations for Miami Air and Marine Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Matthew Zetts, Chief Patrol Agent, U.S. Border Patrol, announced that defendant Kelsey James McQueen, a/k/a Calsey James McQueen, 41, a Bahamian national, has been charged in connection with the April 28, 2010 failed migrant smuggling venture, which resulted in the interdiction of the vessel Mary Carla.
The criminal complaint charges McQueen with alien smuggling, in violation of Title 8, Untied States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii). If convicted, the defendant faces a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 15 years in prison.
According to the complaint affidavit filed with the court, on April 28, 2010, at approximately 7:00 pm, CBP’s Office of Air and Marine Operations received information that the vessel Mary Carla, which had departed from Freeport, Grand Bahamas en-route to the West Palm Beach area, was allegedly involved in a smuggling operation.
At approximately 11:30 pm, a CBP air unit spotted a vessel matching the vessel depicted in the photograph approximately eighteen nautical miles east of the Lake Worth inlet. When the suspect vessel was approximately 11.8 miles off the Palm Beach shoreline, CBP Marine units attempted to stop it. The boat operator, who was later identified as defendant Kelsey James McQueen, did not comply with the commands to stop and attempted to flee. CBP Marine Units pursued the vessel, boarded it, and brought it to a stop approximately off the Palm Beach shoreline. CBP Marine Interdiction Agents identified a total of fourteen individuals aboard the vessel, including defendant McQueen.
ICE special agents arrested McQueen and four migrants yesterday on federal criminal charges. The four migrants, Andrew Fitzgerald Saint Aubyn Brissett, 45, Sheldon Lewis, 34, and Oneil Black, 31, all Jamaican nationals, and Juan Carlos Paredes-Rodriguez aka Bonamy Lorictime, 34, of the Dominican Republic, made an initial appearance Monday on charges of illegal re-entry into the U.S. after deportation, in violation of Title 8, Untied States Code, Section 1326(a). If convicted, they each face up a statutory maximum of up to two years in prison.
The defendant had his initial appearance yesterday, May 3, 2010, in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach. A detention hearing is scheduled for May 10, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Ferrer commended the cooperation and investigative efforts of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami, the USCG, CBP’s Office of Field Operations, Office of Air and Marine, and the U.S. Border Patrol. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William T. Zloch.
A complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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.