Charter Owner Arrested and Charged Federally with Misconduct or Neglect that Resulted in Death
Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla was arrested pursuant to criminal complaint charging him with misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in the death of an individual, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1115.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney of the Southern District of Florida, Zinnia P. James, Acting Special Agent in Charge, and Major Alfredo Escanio, Regional Commander, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Division of Law Enforcement, South B Region, made the announcement.
According to allegations contained in the court record, Maubert-Cayla, originally of France, was a part owner of the MIAMI VICE, a 91-foot performance yacht. Maubert-Cayla offered the yacht for charters on a website, and employed Captain Mauricio Alvarez to drive the yacht during charters from approximately November of 2017 until April of 2018. The MIAMI VICE charter operation was illegal because, among other reasons, Alvarez did not have a valid United States Coast Guard license. In fact, Alvarez received a ticket from the United States Coast Guard in March of 2018 for operating a charter on board the MIAMI VICE without an appropriate Coast Guard license. In addition, according to allegations in the complaint, Maubert-Cayla knew that Alvarez was heavily using cocaine and alcohol during the period he served as captain on board the MIAMI VICE, and had filmed Alvarez using cocaine as recently as March 29, 2018.
On April 1, 2018, Maubert-Cayla chartered the MIAMI VICE to a group of individuals, who met and paid Maubert-Cayla at the Sea Isle Marina. The MIAMI VICE then left the Sea Isle Marina with Alvarez acting as captain. Alvarez drove the yacht at a high rate of speed and beached it on Monument Island, where the charter patrons, including victim R.M.P., began to swim. Alvarez then decided to leave the Island, but did not ensure that everybody was on board the yacht before doing so. Alvarez started the yacht’s 4500 horsepower engines and accelerated them in reverse, directly to where victim R.M.P. was swimming. R.M.P. was caught in the MIAMI VICE’s propellers and killed.
Maubert-Cayla is currently being detained pending a bond hearing scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.
Mauricio Alvarez is currently charged with misconduct or neglect of ship owner that resulted in the death of an individual in Southern District of Florida case number 18-20314-CR-ALTONAGA. Alvarez’s jury trial is scheduled for September 4, 2018.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of CGIS and FWC in this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Marcet and Coast Guard Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Jones.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.