11 migrants, 3 suspected smugglers interdicted off coast of Boca Raton

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor
U.S. Coast Guard District 7

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted 11 migrants and three suspected smugglers over the weekend about 9 miles east of Boca Raton, the Coast Guard announced Monday in a news release.

According to the news release, a Coast Guard airplane crew spotted a 22-foot cabin cruiser in the water about 8 p.m. Saturday that matched the description of a "target of interest" with 14 people aboard.

A law enforcement vessel interdicted the boat, and the migrants were transferred onto a Coast Guard cutter, authorities said.

The group remains in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

"Migrants should not attempt to smuggle themselves into the country," said Capt. Jason Ryan, Coast Guard 7th District chief of enforcement. "They not only risk going to jail, but also endanger their lives by entrusting smugglers to bring them across the water with little or no lifesaving equipment onboard."

Coast Guard officials said a CBP crew towed the migrants' boat to Lake Worth.

It's unclear from where the group originated. 

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