Deputies find group of migrants coming ashore in Pompano Beach

US Border Patrol investigates suspected smuggling operation

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Broward Sheriff's Office deputies had 13 migrants in custody after they came ashore Wednesday afternoon in Pompano Beach. 

Homeland Security officials are investigating the incident as a suspected smuggling operation. 

Witnesses notified authorities after they noticed an overloaded 25-foot boat coming in too quickly from the ofshore off the Hillsboro Inlet.  

"They were so bow-heavy I thought they were sinking," Anthony Dipilato, a Florida Sailfish Fishing Charter captain, told Local 10 News. 

Dipalato said some of the migrants jumped off into the water, swam ashore and ran into the surrounding area of a condominium building in the neighborhood. Deputies searched the area. 

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue personnel took a migrant woman away in an ambulance.

The rest of the migrants, some of whom had luggage, were in custody of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and were at a detention facility. A witness said he thinks he heard the migrants speaking in Creole. 

Authorities later confirmed the migrants were from a total of five countries. Below is a breakdown of the countries from where the migrants originated.

  • 4 - Jamaica
  • 3 - Haiti
  • 3 - Turkey
  • 2 - Sierra Leone
  • 1 - Bahamas  


About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.