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Coast Guard searching for 38 people off coast of FL after human smuggling boat capsized

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The situation is considered “dire” as the Coast Guard frantically searches for 38 individuals off the coast of Florida using planes and ships on Wednesday. Captain Jo-Ann F. Burdian said one survivor told rescuers their boat had capsized Saturday evening after departing from the Bahamas into a storm towards the U.S.

There is a single known survivor, and the accident killed at least one person, reports the Associated Press. U.S. authorities have launched a criminal investigation into what is suspected to have been a human smuggling boat.

The Coast Guard was alerted Tuesday morning after crew on a merchant vessel spotted the surviving man sitting alone on the overturned hull of the 25-foot boat. He is “conscious and lucid” after being treated at a hospital with symptoms of dehydration and sun exposure before being turned over to Homeland Security officials.

Homeland Security Investigations opened a criminal probe, which includes efforts with U.S. agents in the Bahamas. Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of the agency’s Miami office said “you’re dealing with criminal organizations that have no value for human life or safety. It’s really victimizing the migrants. It’s just about the money.”

The AP writes “migrants from around the world have long sued the Bahamas as a stepping stone to reach Florida and the United States. They typically try to take advantage of breaks in the weather to make the crossing, but the vessels are often dangerously overloaded and prove to capsizing. There have been thousands of deaths over the years.”

This particular boat departed from Bimini, a small cluster of islands about 55 miles east of Miami and about 100 miles south of where the surviving man was found. Mostly, the migrants come from Haiti and Cuba, “but the Royal Bahamas Defense Force has reported apprehending migrants from other parts of the world, including from Colombia and Ecuador earlier this month” reports the AP.

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  1. Cowboy joe

    January 31, 2022 at 1:27 am

    Same type events in Australia many years ago.
    Indonesia told Labor Gov to take the sugar off the table. I.e. stop open border & financial assistance.
    Common stat was 2,200 drowned.

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Immigration

Border officials find ‘sophisticated’ drug tunnel with rail system, electricity, from Tijuana to San Diego

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Earlier this week U.S. authorities announced the discovery of a “fully operational” and “sophisticated” tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border, reaching from Tijuana to San Diego.

Authorities confirmed 1,700-foot tunnel that ends in a San Diego warehouse near the U.S. Border Protection Otay Mesa Port of Entry was used to traffic drugs.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Randy Grossman said the 61-foot deep and four feet across at the widest part was complete with “reinforced walls, a rail system, and electricity for ventilation.”

Authorities stated a whopping $25 million worth of drugs were seized form within the tunnel over the weekend. Fox News reports that among the drugs were “1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of meth, and 3.5 pounds of heroin.”

Authorities found the tunnel after surveilling a truck that was going to and from the warehouse with large boxes. “In a span of a few hours, agents watched five vehicles come and go from the stash house and this warehouse, we allege that the defendants were driving into the garage and loading or dropping off cardboard boxes full of drugs to further the movement or distribution of drugs throughout the United States, the federal agents were watching the whole time,” Grossman said.

After raiding the warehouse, authorities found no other drugs, but did spot the tunnel opening carved onto the floor.

“There is no more light at the end of this narco-tunnel,” Grossman said. “We will take down every subterranean smuggling route we find to keep illicit drugs from reaching our streets and destroying our families and communities.”

Fox News reports six California residents, aged 21 to 55, were arrested and charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine, meth, and heroin. “Together with the Mexican government, we have been collaborating in trying to eradicate these tunnels, which should not exist because that is where a lot of crime happens, and a lot of the suffering that we see,” U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar told the news outlet Zeta. “This needs to stop.”

Fox News adds “authorities said that drug-smuggling tunnels are not uncommon. They are usually used by drug smugglers to evade authorities and transport a large quantity of drugs. More than 15 tunnels have been found since 2006, officials said.”

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