2 Haitian Men Arrested in Alien Smuggling Conspiracy that Killed 8
St. Thomas, USVI – Dieuseul Mompremier, 44, and Lamorthe Delva, 45, both Haitian nationals, were arrested Friday on St. Thomas after a federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment charging them with conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced today. After their arrest, Mompremier and Delva made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller, who ordered Delva held without bail pending trial, and continued Mompremier’s detention hearing to Thursday, April 17.
According to the indictment, in December 2010, Mompremier, Delva and Roro Edourre, 46, conspired with each other and additional co-conspirators to smuggle illegal aliens into St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. On December 5, 2010, Edourre was the captain on the vessel “Jesus La,” with approximately 33 passengers, most of them Haitian nationals, including men, women and children, when the vessel traveled from St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, to the U.S. Virgin Islands. While Edourre was transporting the illegal aliens on the vessel, Mompremier and Delva waited in the U.S. Virgin Islands and communicated with their co-conspirators by telephone. The U.S. Coast Guard spotted the vessel carrying Edourre and his passengers, and Edourre attempted to evade the Coast Guard. While attempting to evade the Coast Guard, the “Jesus La” ran aground and sank, resulting in the death of at least eight individuals, including four children.
In addition to conspiracy to smuggle aliens, Mompremier, Delva and Edourre are charged with unlawfully attempting to bring aliens into the United States. Mompremier also is charged with transportation of an alien within the United States on or about December 28, 2011. Edourre also was prosecuted for manslaughter in the British Virgin Islands, where he is currently serving his sentence.
The 10-count indictment is the result of months of investigative work by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.
USA Sharpe reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.