You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Illegal Charter Operator Sentenced to Federal Prison for Violating Coast Guard Order

An illegal charter operator was sentenced to federal prison on Oct. 11, 2019, for violating a U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Order.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida and Zinnia P. James, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), Southeast Region, made the announcement.

Dallas Allan Ladd, 38, of Miami Beach, previously pled guilty to violating a Captain of the Port Order, in violation of Title 46, United States Code, Section 70036 (Case No. 19cr20315).  U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno sentenced Ladd to 30 days in prison.  Following his incarceration, Ladd will be prohibited from owning or going aboard any boats while on probation for a period of three years.

According to the court record, Ladd is the registered owner of the 45-foot motor yacht SEA YOU TWERK.  On or about Feb. 10, 2019, the Coast Guard suspected that the SEA YOU TWERK yacht was operating illegally as a charter vessel.  Illegal charters can cause accidents resulting in property damage, injuries and death.  Given these concerns, the Coast Guard issued Ladd a Captain of the Port Order on Feb. 19, 2019, requiring him to immediately cease operation of the SEA YOU TWERK yacht as a passenger vessel until the defendant was in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.  Ladd was advised that his failure to comply with the Captain of the Port Order could subject him to civil penalties, imprisonment and a fine.

Thereafter, on or about March 31, 2019, Ladd continued to operate the SEA YOU TWERK as an illegal charter, in violation of the Captain of the Port Order. 

“The operation of illegal charters poses a safety risk to passengers and the public at large,” stated U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard to protect our South Florida residents and visitors.  We will continue to forge ahead with federal charges against those who knowingly violate laws and regulations that endanger lives and compromise legitimate business practices.”

“Those who seek to dodge federal regulations and take shortcuts by operating illegally willfully put their passengers at risk and will be held accountable,” said Capt. Janet Espino-Young, Chief of Coast Guard 7th District Prevention Department. “This sentence demonstrates the aggressive posture the Coast Guard and our partners from the U.S. Attorney’s Office have taken in the detection of illegal passenger vessels and in seeking maximum enforcement actions for violations.”  

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the CGIS in this matter.  This case was prosecuted by Coast Guard Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Sattler.

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 October 15, 2019