Hialeah Boat Captain Gets 3 Years for Human Smuggling

The young Hialeah boat captain caught transporting eight immigrants to Boynton Beach this past January will serve up to three years in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra sentenced 28-year-old Jovel Dominguez-Hernandez to 36 months yesterday for human smuggling.

The indictment notes his goal was "commercial advantage or personal gain."

Dominguez-Hernandez admitted to accepting $3,000 to bring Haitian immigrants into the U.S. from the Bahamas, court documents show.

Palm Beach Sheriff Department officers noticed the boat at 10 p.m. this past January 26 because it was traveling without a navigation light. When cops approached the vessel, Dominguez-Hernandez sped away and several passengers fled, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson.

Dominguez-Hernandez's lawyer Jonathan Pinoli was not immediately available for comment Tuesday. His sentencing followed a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation.

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Natalie O'Neill
Contact: Natalie O'Neill