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Man pleads guilty in US Virgin Islands smuggling

May 24, 2014

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — A Haitian man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle migrants into the U.S. Virgin Islands in a 2010 case in which at least eight of them died.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 46-year-old Lamorthe Delva was among three suspects in charge of a boat carrying 33 migrants, the majority of them Haitian. Authorities said the boat was traveling from the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Martin to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Officials said the suspects tried to evade the U.S. Coast Guard and ran the ship aground, killing at least eight people, four of them children.

Officials said Friday that Delva is scheduled to be sentenced in September. Another suspect is already serving a sentence for manslaughter.

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