A 52-year-old man from The Bahamas on Tuesday pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to smuggle eight illegal immigrants into South Florida.
Preston Russell and the eight people had left the Bahamas in his small boat Nov. 13. He had intended to bring them ashore in the Jupiter area, but the Coast Guard caught him offshore early on Nov. 14 when engine problems led his boat to stall out.
None of the eight passengers had visas or any type of authorization to enter the United States.
Russell pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted alien smuggling. He will be sentenced May 7. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of up to 10 years.
By Alexandra Seltzer
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer