HILLSBORO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – U.S. Border Patrol agents are currently on the scene of a suspected smuggling operation at Hillsboro Beach.
Several law enforcement agencies, including Broward Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro Beach Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, American Maritime Officers and U.S. Coast Guards, arrived on the scene on a beach behind the Hillsboro Club at around 10 a.m., Monday.
7SkyForce HD hovered above the area where several footprints could be seen around a beached boat.
“Can you imagine 11 people on a boat that looked no more than 20 feet long?” said witness Chris.
Border Patrol officials said the suspected smuggling operation involves a dozen Haitian nationals.
“They are obviously trying to get away from something,” Chris said.
Chris, who lives not too far from where the boat landed, said he saw someone running across the street, trying to stop a driver.
“He came running out of the bushes, and he yelled ‘Stop!’ one time,” he said.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies shut down parts of A1A as they began taking the migrants into custody, and all 12 were taken to the Hillsboro Police Department, including one child.
From there, the migrants were given food, masks and were driven away in a Border Patrol van.
Investigators called the attempt a suspected smuggling operation.
“Crossing from Haiti, across the Florida straits and then coming up this far? That’s a long way,” Chris said. “It did have a motor, but if it had 11 people, it couldn’t have carried enough gas to get them here. It’s very sad. Very sad.”
The migrants will be held for a day or two before eventually heading back home.
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