CaribWorldNews, MIAMI, FL, Tues. May 19, 2009: A 33-year-old Haitian man was on Monday slapped with human smuggling charges for last Wednesday`s deadly boat accident.
Jimmy Metellus has been accused by US federal authorities of captaining a boat overloaded with migrants he was seeking to smuggle illegally into the U.S. last week. The boat capsized off Florida`s coast, killing ten people.
Metellus was among 16 people rescued when the boat capsized early last Wednesday about 60 miles north of Miami. Fifteen of the migrants saved are Haitian and one is a Jamaican. All face deportation back to their native lands.
The migrants claimed they paid up to US $4,000 for the trip.
`ICE strongly discourages people from taking to the seas and attempting to illegally enter the United States through maritime means,` said Anthony Mangione, special agent in charge of the investigations office in Miami.
`Tragically, many have lost their lives while attempting this illegal and treacherous trip.`
Metellus is set to appear in a West Palm Beach Court Wednesday to answer the charges.