MIAMI (AP) — A judge has sentenced to prison a Bahamian national who called 911 when the boat carrying him and over a dozen other migrants capsized, killing four Haitian women.
George Lewis pleaded guilty in May to illegally re-entering the U.S. after being deported. Prosecutors agreed to drop other charges of smuggling resulting in death.
Lewis told U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams on Friday that he paid smugglers to return him to family in Florida. His attorney disputed prosecutors' assertion that Lewis assisted the boat's captain in the smuggling venture.
Prosecutor Kelly Blackburn said only Lewis and the captain could have called 911 as the boat capsized Oct. 16th off downtown Miami because the other migrants were not allowed cellphones.
Williams sentenced Lewis to five years in prison and three years' probation.