Suspected migrants found in boat following traffic stop
More than 30 suspected Cuban migrants were found hiding in a go-fast boat that was stopped on U.S. 1 Monday morning.
There were four passengers/suspected migrants with three young children ages 1½, 4 and 5 in the truck pulling the boat.
A 17-year-old was among many people later found hiding in the forward v-berth area of the boat — for a total of 32 suspected migrants.
Two women were pregnant and evaluated by Marathon Fire Rescue.
The driver of the truck — 29-year-old Reidel Garcia-Espino of Seffner, Florida — was charged with child neglect as the none of the three children in the truck were restrained by any type of seat belt or child seat.
Sgt. Joel Slough was on patrol at approximately 6 a.m. when he saw a rental truck pulling a large vessel northbound near 107th Street slower than the speed limit. Sgt. Slough performed a traffic stop. Sgt. Slough noted the children in the truck, the lack of child safety seats as well as the overwhelming smell of saltwater and body odor.
Garcia-Espino said they had been fishing, but there was no fishing gear on the boat.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations agents as well as Key Colony Beach Police and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers also responded.
The migrants were turned over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Garcia-Espino was taken to jail on the child neglect charge.
Federal charges, if any, would be up to those agencies.[livemarket market_name="KONK Life LiveMarket" limit=3 category=“” show_signup=0 show_more=0]