Two Men Sentenced To Less Than Two Years For Smuggling 61 Haitian Illegals
U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe
CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Two men were sentenced in federal court this week to less than two years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to introducing illegal migrants into the territory, according to U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe.
U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez on Monday sentenced Kenrick Christopher, 48, of Grenada, to 23 months in prison, and Jeard Shillingford, 33, of Dominica, to 18 months in prison for encouraging and inducing illegal immigrants to enter the United States for commercial or financial gain, Sharpe said.
Judge Gomez also sentenced both men to serve three years of supervised release.
On June 24, 2015, Christopher and Shillingford pleaded guilty to encouraging and inducing illegal immigrants to enter the United States for commercial or financial gain, according to court documents.
As part of their pleas, Christopher and Shillingford admitted to operating a sailing vessel containing 61 Haitian nationals seeking to enter the United States illegally, and that they did so for commercial or financial gain knowing that their actions were unlawful, according to Sharpe.
The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted the vessel off the coast of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands on June 10, 2015.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David White.