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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 3, 2018

Yacht Captain Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Misconduct or Neglect that Resulted in Death

On November 28, 2018, Mauricio Alvarez was sentenced to 33 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga for his 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 (Case No. 18-CR-20314).

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

According to the court record, including the agreed upon factual proffer, Alvarez, was the captain of the MIAMI VICE, a 91-foot performance yacht.  Alvarez was hired to serve as captain during illegal charters on board the MIAMI VICE by the yacht’s owner, Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla (Maubert-Cayla).  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, Alvarez was heavily using cocaine during the period he served as captain on board the MIAMI VICE, and was filmed using cocaine by the owner of the MIAMI VICE as recently as March 29, 2018.

On April 1, 2018, Alvarez was captain of the MIAMI VICE during a paid charter.  Alvarez drove the yacht at a high rate of speed and beached it on Monument Island, where the charter patrons, including victim “R.M.,” 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 the victim was swimming.  The victim was caught in the MIAMI VICE’s propellers and killed.

On November 5, 2018, Maubert-Cayla pled guilty to misconduct or neglect of a ship owner that resulted in the death of an individual (Case No. 18-CR-20678).  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno on January 10, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of CGIS in this matter.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Marcet and Coast Guard Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phil 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