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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 Comment

1 Comment

  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

$18 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of squash

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered $18 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of squash.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) revealed in a press release on Monday, at approximately 6:47 a.m.,that CBP officers encountered a 44-year-old male driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested for squash. The driver, a valid border crossing card holder, was referred for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor-trailer and shipment.

Non-intrusive scanning technology was utilized to conduct a full scan of the tractor trailer which showed irregularities and CBP officers requested a CBP human and narcotics detection canine. The canine team responded and alerted officers to the presence of narcotics.

A total of 1,419 packages concealed within the shipment of squash was discovered and extracted. The narcotics were tested and identified as methamphetamine with a total weight of 11,469 pounds with an estimated street value of $18,350,400.

“Our officers’ commitment to duty, excellence, and the safety of our nation is truly commendable. These results serve as an outstanding display of effectiveness in thwarting the illegal importation of narcotics,” stated Rosa E. Hernandez, Otay Mesa Area Port Director. “Their exceptional efforts truly embody the highest standards of service.”

The seizures are part of Operation Apollo, a holistic counter-fentanyl effort that began on October 26, 2023 in southern California, and expanded to Arizona on April 10, 2024, the CBP release reveals. Operation Apollo focuses on intelligence collection and partnerships, and utilizes local CBP field assets augmented by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to boost resources, increase collaboration, and target the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.

The CDC states that more than 150 people die every day from drug overdoses related to synthetic opioids derived from fentanyl.

 

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