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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Charter Owner Pleads Guilty to Misconduct or Neglect that Resulted in Death

Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla pled guilty on November 5, 2018, to misconduct or neglect of a charter owner that resulted in the death of an individual, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1115.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida, Zinnia P. James, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), Southeast Region 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 the court record, including the agreed upon factual proffer, 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, 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 scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno on January 20, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

Mauricio Alvarez pled guilty for his misconduct or neglect as a ship officer (yacht captain) that resulted in the death of an individual, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1115 (Case No. 18-CR-20314). He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga on November 28, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan 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. Attorneys Philip Jones and Emily Rose.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated December 3, 2018