LAWFUEL – Law Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Anthony V. Mangione, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Division, announced today the filing of a Superseding Indictment, charging additional murder, alien smuggling and narcotics trafficking charges against boat captain Rickey Thompson and first mate Leon Brice Johnson, in connection with an August 2006 smuggling venture from the Bahamas to Jupiter Island. Thompson and Johnson were previously charged with murder, alien smuggling and narcotics trafficking charges, in connection with a December 2006 smuggling trip, also from the Bahamas to Jupiter Island, Florida. Both Thompson and Johnson are facing a maximum sentence of death or life imprisonment on the charges.
According to the Superseding Indictment, in August 2006, defendants Rickey Thompson and Leon Brice Johnson arranged to transport six illegal aliens from Freeport, Bahamas, to Jupiter Island, aboard Thompson’s 35 foot vessel. The aliens paid Thompson fees ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 for the trip and were assured that Thompson would drop them off on the beach or in water no higher than their ankles. Thompson’s boat left Freeport, Bahamas, on August 15, 2006 for Jupiter Island.
Thompson drove the boat without lights to avoid detection and made frequent stops whenever he believed he saw or heard a Coast Guard vessel. At approximately 2:00 am on August 16, 2006, Thompson’s boat approached Jupiter Island. Thompson stopped the boat in deep, rough waters off the shore of Jupiter Island and ordered the aliens off the boat. Several of the aliens complied with the order and jumped; however, others who could not swim, including Roselyne Lubin and Alnert Charles, Haitian nationals, remained on the boat. Johnson then forced the remaining aliens off the boat at gun point. The aliens jumped over and attempted to swim to shore. Four of the aliens made it to shore; the lifeless bodies of Ms. Lubin and Mr. Alnert were found floating in the water near Jupiter Island.
Law enforcement officers responding to the area where the aliens had landed recovered several duffle bags containing approximately 12 kilos of cocaine.
Mr. Acosta commended the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Border Patrol, Jupiter Island Police Department, and Tequesta Police Department for their investigation of this matter. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Adrienne Rabinowitz and Ellen Cohen.
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 http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/.