South Florida

Yacht owner filmed captain doing coke days before passenger was run over, feds say

Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla, part owner of the Miami Vice yacht and responsible for its operations, has pleaded guilty in a case stemming from the death of 25-year-old Raul Menendez in the boat’s propellers.
Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla, part owner of the Miami Vice yacht and responsible for its operations, has pleaded guilty in a case stemming from the death of 25-year-old Raul Menendez in the boat’s propellers. via MiamiVice.biz

Three days before the captain of “Miami Vice,” a 91-foot pleasure yacht, backed over and killed one of his passengers, the part-owner of the boat allegedly filmed the captain doing cocaine, according to federal prosecutors.

The part-owner, Laurent Marc-Antoine Jean Maubert-Cayla, was recently arrested and charged with misconduct or neglect of a ship officer that resulted in the death of an individual, according to a release issued Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami. The captain, 49-year-old Mauricio Alvarez. Alvarez was arrested a few days after his 25-year-old passenger’s death. Investigators said they caught Alvarez with his luggage packed at Fort Lauderdale Airport, ready to flee to Panama.

Raul Menendez, 25, died April 1 when he was “sucked up by the propeller” of the yacht after the captain failed to check his surroundings while putting the boat in reverse in Biscayne Bay, according to the complaint. He and his friends chartered the boat from Maubert-Cayla, who hired Alvarez to captain the vessel from November 2017 to April 2018.

The complaint alleges that Maubert-Cayla hired Alvarez despite the fact that he didn’t have a valid Coast Guard license. Alvarez was ticketed for that in March, a month before the charter trip where Menendez was killed.

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