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One Year For Smuggling

BY DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net FREEPORT - A Bahamian man who attempted to smuggle five adult Haitians and three children to the United States was sentenced to one year in prison yesterday. Stanley Pinder, 39, of Ponce de Leon Drive, appeared in the Court Three before Deputy Chief Magistrate Helen Jones. He pleaded guilty to several counts of assisting illegal passengers by boat. Also appearing were the five adult Haitian passengers, who also pleaded guilty to related charges. Pinder and the eight Haitians were stranded out to sea for almost two days before being rescued by the US Coast Guard on Monday. A 26-foot centre console vessel with six adults and three children - ages, three, 10, and 12 - were spotted near West Palm Beach just after 6am by a USCG rescue helicopter. According to reports, BASRA officials in Grand Bahama were contacted by a concerned resident in Nassau who reported that six persons were stranded off West End and that the cell phone onboard the boat had gone dead. Two Coast Guard vessels and the helicopter were dispatched to search for the vessel. Everyone aboard was found to be in good health despite being without food or water for almost two days. They were all returned to Freeport.

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