MIAMI— CBP Air and Marine Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol, CBP Office of Field Operations, USCG along with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners respond to maritime smuggling event resulting in the apprehension of 123 Haitian nationals Monday morning in the Florida Keys.
At approximately 11:30 am Monday, a good Samaritan notified law enforcement that a suspected migrant vessel was close to running aground with approximately 100 people on board. Soon thereafter the vessel ran aground near a residential shoreline in Summerland Key, Florida. All migrants onboard the vessel disembarked, and all safely swam to shore.
Responding law enforcement was able to immediately secure the area without incident and render first aid to a few migrants needing assistance due to dehydration. The group told authorities at the scene that they had departed La Tortue Island, Haiti on March 9.
“Today was another coordinated and timely response with our federal, state, and local partners” said Walter N. Slosar, Chief Patrol Agent, U.S. Border Patrol, Miami Sector. “While on scene, I witnessed the great work being done to ensure the safety of these migrants whose lives were put at risk by smugglers. The migrants will be detained and processed for removal proceedings.”
The Haitian migrants were transported to the Marathon and Dania Beach Border Patrol Stations for further processing and will be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.
An investigation regarding the incident is currently ongoing.