Illegal Haitian migrants apprehended off Florida aboard fishing boat

Law enforcement apprehended two dozen illegal migrants – including women and children – off the coast of Florida aboard a large fishing boat.

According to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, local authorities, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, helped stop a human trafficking attempt in Sebastian Inlet in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Authorities said that on Tuesday evening they apprehended a vessel during a port call and the department's marine unit “responded quickly.”

“When you see that boat going by, and they don't have any telltale signs – the fishing rods, the things you would normally see – it's going to stick out,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said.

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Boat

The Indian River sheriff said federal and state authorities apprehended a group of illegal migrants. (The Sheriff of Indian River)

Police said they discovered 24 “undocumented Haitian citizens,” including men, women and children.

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The illegal migrants were handed over to the US Coast Guard.

The Indian River sheriff said the drivers of the fishing boats were facing federal smuggling charges and allegedly asserted their belief that the boat came from Brevard County, Florida.

Fishing boat

Police found 24 illegal Haitian migrants aboard a fishing boat. (The Sheriff of Indian River)

Officials thanked the “seamless coordination” between state and local agencies.

“We applaud the tireless efforts of the FWC and our dedicated law enforcement partners to maintain the integrity of our borders and protect our communities,” the Indian River Sheriff said.

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“Together, we are vigilant against illegal activities that threaten the safety and security of our nation,” the agency said.

The U.S. Coast Guard did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.



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