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25 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, Uni…

25 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and Rear Admiral D. Brian Peterman, Commander – 7th Coast Guard District, United States Coast Guard (USCG), announced today the filing of a criminal complaint charging defendant, Antonio Darias, with alien smuggling for the purpose of private financial gain, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii).

Yesterday, May 23, 2005, the defendant made his initial appearance in federal court in Miami, Florida, following his arrest. If convicted, the defendant faces a minimum statutory term of three (3) years and a maximum statutory term of ten (10) year in prison as to each alien smuggled.

On May 22, 2005, a USCG aircraft located a vessel approximately thirty (30) miles east of the Port of Palm Beach. USCG and ICE marine units responded to the location and encountered a 53-foot Hatteras motor vessel, the M/V Raquel, on a westerly route from Freeport, Bahamas to Palm Beach, Florida. Darias, the master of the vessel, refused to stop and the M/V Raquel was forcefully intercepted in the Port of Palm Beach inlet by USCG and ICE officers who jumped on board the moving vessel to stop its movement. The vessel was found to contain eight (8) Cuban nationals and one (1) Peruvian national.

Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Coast Guard. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott Ray.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.