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2 charged with migrant smuggling in Virgin Islands

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April 14, 2014 06:23 PM EST | AP


KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Two Haitian nationals have been arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands after being indicted on charges of conspiracy to smuggle migrants into the U.S.

The U.S. Justice Department alleged Monday that the two suspects conspired with others to smuggle mostly Haitian migrants to the U.S. island of St. John in 2010.

The attempt ended tragically when a boat carrying 33 migrants smashed into a reef while trying to evade authorities. At least four children and four adults died. Most of the passengers on the vessel were Haitians seeking a better life.

The two Haitian men were allegedly waiting for the boat in St. John and communicating with their co-conspirators by phone.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe says a grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against the men Friday.