MIAMI – A 26-year-old Bahamian man has been charged for attempting to smuggle 16 migrants, two of which had been previously charged with aggravated battery, from the Bahamas to Florida.
A federal grand jury in Miami returned an indictment, Tuesday, charging two Bahamian men, a Jamaican man, and a United Kingdom man with felony offenses related to the maritime smuggling event.
According to the indictment and a previously filed criminal complaint affidavit, it all started when 26-year-old Jeremy Christoph Rolle of the Bahamas was driving a 26 foot motorboat that carried himself and the 16 migrants from Bimini in the Bahamas to Florida on June 17.
That is when a Broward County Sherriff’s Office Deputy on marine patrol encountered Rolle driving the boat near the Hillsboro Inlet in Hillsboro Beach.
Quickly after, Rolle led law enforcement on a pursuit through the Intracoastal Waterway that ended after Rolle crashed the boat filled with several migrants still on board into a seawall in Pompano Beach.
Rolle has now been charged on 16 counts with encouraging or inducing migrants to enter the United States and placing in jeopardy the life of a migrant during that offense. He faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted.
Rolle is also charged on two counts with aiding or assisting inadmissible migrants convicted of an aggravated felony to enter the United States.
These two men are 54-year-old Andrew Devaunx of the Bahamas and 42-year-old Marvin Morris Carridice of Jamaica. For this, Rolle faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted.
Devaunx and Carridice are each charged on one count with illegally reentering the United States after being previously removed for aggravated felony convictions. If convicted, they each face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Furthermore, another man who was on the boat has been charged, as well. He is 27-year-old Payam Hassanzadeh Zargar of the United Kingdom. He has been charged in one count with illegally reentering the United States after being previously removed, for which he faces a statutory maximum penalty of two years in prison if convicted.
All of the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.