4 males accused of smuggling migrants from Cuba to the Florida Keys
MIAMI, Fla. [AP] – According to official reports, federal agents arrested four men for attempting to smuggle migrants from Cuba to the Florida Keys.
Alberto Garcia, Manuel Fonseca, Yudier Panaque and Yosniel Fuentes are charged with billed $ 10,000 for each migrant brought to the US. During the group’s last trip last week, they picked up 20 people from Pinar Del Rio, Cuba, agents said.
US Homeland Security agents arrested Garcia, Fonseca and Panaque at a Tavernier marina on Sunday as they worked to bring in their newest group of migrants. Fuentes was later arrested after agents found him in a homestead house while executing a search warrant.
A criminal complaint said Garcia and Fonseca had asked someone who was truly an undercover agent if they could borrow a boat to smuggle people from Cuba into the United States earlier this month. Garcia told the agent the boat will be stored in a Key Largo home, which is being used as a whereabouts and a place to detain migrants until their smuggling fees are paid, officials said.
The men first appeared in federal court in Key West on Monday, the Miami Herald reported. They face charges of knowingly and deliberately conspiring to encourage and induce foreigners to enter the United States.
According to US Coast Guard officials, the crews have stopped 107 Cubans since October, which is more than the entire previous fiscal year.