Police Round Up Migrants On Ft. Lauderdale Beach

January 30, 2014 12:09 PM

FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents were called in after migrants came ashore along Ft. Lauderdale’s beach.

The city’s police department said they received a call from a resident of the Lago Mar neighborhood about the migrants.

“I had seen a woman, she was frantically trying to swim and she was having a hard time. The lifeguard had gone in to get her and rough her on to shore,” said witness Mike Johnston.

When officers arrived they found the illegal aliens beach side in the area of 1800 South Ocean Lane.

Officials said eight migrants are in custody and a ninth person appears to have drowned at the scene.

“About an hour later, they pulled out a third body, unconscious. They tried to give him CPR but it didn’t look too good for that person,” said Marco Arroyo.

The individuals are believed to be from Haiti, according to police, and officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection suspect a go-fast boat may have been used to transport the migrants.

Officers checked the surrounding area for any additional migrants and have reached out to the Bahamas to alert law enforcement in that area to be on the lookout for a suspicious vessel returning to the Bahamas.

Authorities believe the transport was arranged by a well-financed and well-organized criminal enterprise in the Bahamas.

Anyone with information regarding the location of additional individuals should contact Fort Lauderdale Police Department at (954) 828-5700.