Two more men have been charged in connection with the 2010 incident that left at least eight Haitian migrants dead after a motorboat crashed near Paraquita Bay while trying to flee authorities.
Haitians Dieuseul Mompremier and Lamorthe Delva were arrested April 11 on St. Thomas after a federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment charging them with conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States, US Attorney Ronald Sharpe saidlast week.
Mr. Sharpe said the arrest was a result of a joint investigation betweenthe Royal Virgin Islands Police Force; Dutch St. Maarten officials; US Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and the US Department of Homeland Security.
US Magistrate Ruth Miller ordered that Mr. Delva, 45, be held without bail pending trial, and she continued the detention of Mr. Mompremier, 44, pending trial.
According to the indictment, Messrs. Mompremier and Delva conspired with another Haitian, Roro Edourre,to smuggle illegal aliens into St. John, US Virgin Islands.
Mr. Edourre, who is currently serving prison time in this territory, allegedly was captaining the vessel Jesus La, which was carrying approximately 33 passengers composed of mostly Haitian men, women and children. They were en route from St. Maarten to the USVI, authorities said.
Messrs. Mompremier and Delva allegedly were waiting in the USVI and communicating with Mr. Edourre via telephone.
See the April 24, 2014 edition for full coverage.