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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bahamian National Arrested After Boat Capsizes And Marijuana Bales Wash Ashore

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, announce the arrest of Quinton Mitchell, 31, from Sweeting’s Cay Settlement, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas. Mitchell made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank J. Lynch, Jr. A pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled for December 6, 2013.

Mitchell is charged with importation of controlled substances involving 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, in violation of with Title 21, United States Code, Sections 952 (a) and 960(b)(2)(G). If convicted, Mitchell faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and up to a maximum of 40 years, four years to a lifetime of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $5,000,000.

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, a vessel capsized in the waters off Jupiter Island, Florida, and three males swam to shore, including Mitchell. Upon arriving to shore, Mitchell ran away from the scene. A second male, later identified as LeRoy Edwards, a Jamaican national, was rescued from the surf and resuscitated by a good samaritan. Quinton Mitchell, was identified as the boat captain. Before running off, Mitchell told the good samaritan that there had been a total of four males on the boat.

Mitchell was later captured by Jupiter Island Police Department Officers and Martin County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, who responded to the area and found the beach littered with white bales and blue gas cans, and the partially submerged boat approximately 200 feet from the shoreline.

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 other passengers that were on-board the boat.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, DEA, 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.

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

Updated March 12, 2015