WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Haitian captain of a boat that sank off Florida's Atlantic coast with at least 25 people aboard has pleaded guilty to human smuggling.
According to a June 16 plea agreement, 33-year-old Jimmy Metellus pleaded guilty to charges that include nine counts of smuggling that resulted in death.
Sixteen people survived the May 2009 capsizing off Palm Beach County. Nine bodies, including a toddler and a pregnant woman, were found. Authorities say as many as 10 more people drowned, but their bodies were never recovered.
Metellus faces life in prison at a Sept. 3 sentencing.
Another Haitian man, 33-year-old Jean Morange Nelson, pleaded guilty to similar charges earlier this month. His sentencing is Aug. 20.