News and Press Releases

FOUR MEN CHARGED IN FAILED DRUG AND ALIEN SMUGGLING OPERATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2010

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), Homeland Security Investigations, Miami Field Office, Kevin Sposetta, Director of Marine Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Rear Admiral William D. Baumgartner, Commander, 7th Coast Guard District (USCG), announced the arrest of William R. Roberts, 50, Luckson Morin, 38, Guy Derilus, 54, and Alphonse Pierre, 32, for their participation in a failed drug and alien smuggling operation. The defendants made their initial appearances in federal court today, before U.S. Magistrate Frank J. Lynch in Ft Pierce. All four defendants were temporarily detained as risks of flight and dangers to the community, pending their detention hearing on October 5, 2010. Their arraignment is scheduled for October 8, 2010.

William R. Roberts, a Bahamian national, is charged with alien smuggling, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(i). If convicted, he faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, followed by up to three years of supervised release. Luckson Morin and Guy Derilus, both of Ft. Lauderdale, are charged with attempting to transport illegal aliens, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii). If convicted, they face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, followed by up to three years of supervised release. In addition, Morin and Alphonse Pierre, a Haitian national, are individually charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(1). If convicted, they face a minimum of ten years and a maximum of up to life imprisonment, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release.

According to the criminal complaint, on September 26, 2010, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vessel encountered the motor vessel “WHO CARES,” in the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. CBP officers boarded the vessel and found five persons claiming to be Haitian nationals. CBP officers also found four padlocked carry on-sized pieces of luggage, which contained 78 bricks of a white powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine. Each brick weighed approximately one kilogram.

According to the criminal complaint, Alphonse Pierre, one of the passengers on the boat and Morin’s cousin, possessed the keys to open the luggage that contained the cocaine. The complaint also alleges that boat captain William R. Roberts, who claimed to be a Bahamian national, was bringing the others to the United States for the purpose of financial gain, and had been coordinating the delivery of the five individuals with someone known to Roberts as “Nixon,” later identified as defendant Luckson Morin.

On September 27, 2010, an undercover ICE special agent accompanied Roberts to a meeting with Morin at the Sailfish Marina in Stuart, Florida, to purportedly complete the delivery of the foreign nationals. Defendant Guy Derilus, a naturalized U.S. Citizen originally from Haiti, accompanied Morin at this meeting. During the meeting, Morin promised Roberts $3,000 per kilogram of cocaine for his unwitting transportation of the cocaine from the Bahamas. After the meeting, ICE special agents arrested Morin and Derilus.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Ft. Pierce, CBP, and the U.S. Coast Guard, for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.

A complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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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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