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BVI Illegal Alien Smuggler Given Light Sentence of Three Months In Prison By Judge Gomez

Coast Guard

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A British Virgin Islands native was sentenced on Thursday in federal court for smuggling immigrants illegally into the United States.

Ashemba Frett, 22, of Tortola was given three months in prison and three years of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez for encouraging and inducing aliens to illegally enter the United States, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said.

Gomez also ordered Frett to pay a $100 special assessment and perform 300 hours of community service, according to Sharpe.

On March 3, 2016, Frett pleaded guilty to encouraging and inducing aliens to illegally enter the United States. According to the plea agreement filed with the court, the United States Coast Guard (USSG) conducted a safety stop on a vessel in Jersey Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The vessel was operated by an unidentified individual. Frett jumped into the water, but was apprehended by the Coast Guard. A Haitian national and a national from the Dominican Republic were on-board the vessel.

Frett admitted that the Dominican Republic national paid him $700 to travel to St. Thomas from Tortola and that Frett knew he did not possess the proper documents to lawfully enter the United States.

The case was investigated by the USSG, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte.

jUdge Curtis GOmez

Judge Curtis Gomez gave illegal alien smuggler a “slap on the wrist.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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