Former major of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office convicted of abusive sexual contact with a minor
MIAMI – Yesterday, Josbel Fernandez Echevarria, 37, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter arising from the deaths of Javier M. Perez and Carolyn Alvarez.
According to the factual basis in support of the defendant’s guilty plea, on July 2, 2020, Echevarria was the operator of a 32-foot powerboat in waters off the coast of Bimini in The Bahamas. Echevarria’s girlfriend, Perez, and Alvarez were also onboard the boat. At around 10:29 p.m., the boat hit North Turtle Rock, a high-tide elevation marked on all navigational charts, as well as on the boat’s navigation system during the crash. The boat was traveling at 43.4 miles per hour at the time of impact.
Echevarria and his girlfriend were injured, but Perez and Alvarez did not survive the crash. Perez’s body was found on North Turtle Rock. Alvarez’s body has not yet been found.
Perez and Alvarez’s death occurred due to Echevarria’s failure to maintain a proper lookout and failure to proceed at a safe speed in violation of Parts 5 and 6 of the International Steering and Sailing Rules.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Acting Special Agent in Charge Matthew Margelot, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), Southeast Region, announced the guilty plea.
CGIS investigated the case, with assistance from the Royal Bahamian Police Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Watts-FitzGerald and Yara Dodin are prosecuting the case.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 12, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen M. Williams. Echevarria faces up to eight years in prison as to each count, criminal fines of up to $250,000 as to each count, and a period of supervised release of up to three years.
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 under case number 22-cr-20256.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida