Brazilian Couple Pleads Guilty to Smuggling People More Than 10,000 Miles to South Florida

How do you know when your immigration system is truly messed up? When people pay $16,000 to be smuggled more than 10,000 miles just to end up in jail and on the wrong side of an STD joke in South Florida.

That's exactly what happened to some poor Brazilian bastards who posed as tourists in order to travel from South America to France, then to England, then the Bahamas, and finally to South Florida. As if that weren't bad enough, some of the would-be-immigrants were caught on their way here in a boat called "Got Crabs."

The Brazilian couple behind the absurd smuggling ring pleaded guilty yesterday.

Juliana Rose Tome-Froes, 36, and her husband, Fabio Rodrigues Froes, 49, face up to 15 and 10 years, respectively, in federal prison for their crimes.

Prosecutors say the two orchestrated an elaborate operation in which they sent Brazilians posing as tourists on 10,430-mile trip designed to deceive immigration authorities.

"Before the undocumented migrants departed Brazil, the defendants instructed them to act like tourists and explained that the itinerary through Europe would support a tourist cover story," said the Department of Justice in a press release.

Um, didn't the Froes know that all you have to do to pass as a Brazilian tourist around here is to get some bags from the Britto store and wander around Lincoln Road?

According to immigration officials, the number of undocumented immigrants from Brazil to South Florida is rising even as that country's economy continues to boom.

In surprisingly related news, Brazilian bikini waxes do not, in fact, kill crabs.

So pity the possibly-pubic-lice-infested Brazilians who got busted on that prophetically named boat.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.