Their boat ran out of gas in the Florida Keys. Cops say they were smuggling migrants


A boat ran out of fuel off the Middle Keys city of Marathon last Friday. The vessel had 25 people on board, and two of them were arrested this week on human smuggling charges.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday that after the boat stalled in the water, deputies recognized it as “a suspected migrant smuggling vessel” from “previous interactions.”

After an investigation that included several federal agencies and the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office, the sheriff’s office Wednesday arrested 33-year-old Oreste Carvajal Gonzalez, from Miami-Dade County, and 19-year-old Roberto Carlos Medina Moreno, of Lakewood.

Both men are being held in Monroe County jail on bonds each of $230,000 for 23 respective counts of human smuggling, according to the sheriff’s office. They are scheduled to appear before a judge to answer for the charges on Aug. 16.

The sheriff’s office called the boat as a “go-fast vessel,” a term law enforcement uses to describe speedboats that smuggle contraband and people.

The 23 other people on board were migrants from Cuba, said Adam Linhardt, a sheriff’s office spokesman.