Miami-Dade County

Boat wasn’t properly lit, the Coast Guard said. What was aboard was even more troubling.

Coast Guard, CBP interdict three suspected cocaine smugglers

A Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos smallboat crew chases a 20-foot go-fast vessel with three people and 220 pounds of cocaine aboard 41 miles southwest of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, July 31, 2019.
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A Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos smallboat crew chases a 20-foot go-fast vessel with three people and 220 pounds of cocaine aboard 41 miles southwest of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, July 31, 2019.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spotted a 27-foot boat off Government Cut Thursday without the proper lighting. With the help of the Coast Guard, the boat was intercepted about seven miles east of the channel between Miami Beach and Fisher Island.

And what was found aboard was even more troubling, the Coast Guard said.

When crews went on the boat they found seven migrants, a suspected smuggler and 67 packages of marijuana, according to a Coast Guard news release. Of the seven migrants, five were men from Jamaica, one was a man from the Bahamas and one was a man from Italy. There was also a suspected smuggler from the Bahamas, the Coast Guard said.

The marijuana was found in brown packages placed in coolers and in bags, a photo released by the Coast Guard shows.

The migrants were taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to the Coast Guard.

“We commend our [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] partners who prevented this illegal voyage from making landfall, as well as their close collaboration with the [Coast Guard] in safely removing all the migrants from a dangerous situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Emily Wilhite, watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Miami, in a news release.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.
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