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Bahamian convicted of human smuggling in U.S.

A Bahamian man has pleaded guilty to two counts of human smuggling in the United States and he could face 10-year prison sentences on each count.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced on Tuesday that Rick Davis, 31, made the guilty pleas on December 10. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 18, 2011.

According to statements made in court, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE)was advised on November 3 by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP)about an alien smuggling attempt off the coast of Deerfield Beach, Florida. The operation originated in Abaco, according to the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. government against Davis.

The complaint said that after a CBP surveillance aircraft detected a suspicious vessel travelling without lights near Deerfield Beach, a CBP marine unit responded and chased the vessel. CBP shot out one of the vessel’s engines and then fired two additional rounds into the second engine.

The U.S. government said Davis was smuggling six undocumented Haitians and one Jamaican.

In the criminal complaint the U.S. government said Davis told agents that two Haitians paid him$12,000 and provided the boat and a GPS to collect the passengers in Abaco and take them to Florida.

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