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#405: Boat Captain Sentenced to 10 Years AP090399 from Slavin (fwd)
Boat Captain Sentenced to 10 Years
.c The Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A Bahamian boat captain was sentenced Friday to
10 years in prison for a smuggling operation in which two Haitian passengers
Addison Joseph Hepburn was found guilty in May of smuggling and smuggling for
profit resulting in the death of an alien.
In August 1998, Hepburn dropped 33 illegal Haitian immigrants from his boat
onto a sandbar about 120 feet off Jupiter Inlet. Some swam to shore, but a
man and a woman died. The rest were rescued by the Coast Guard.
The sentence handed down by U.S. District Court Judge William Dimitrouleas
was the heaviest allowed by federal sentencing guidelines, said prosecutor
Hepburn, 45, maintained that he had been hired for $500 to take what he
believed were legal Haitian immigrants to the United States. Survivors
testified they paid up to $1,500 each for the trip.
Searchers recovered the bodies of Anne Benette Dorsonne, 25, of
Port-au-Prince, and Richard Presendieu, who left a wife and four children in
Federal agents found Hepburn later that day, sleeping in his broken-down boat
anchored about a mile south of the inlet.
Jurors acquitted Hepburn in the death of Presendieu, because prosecutors were
unable to prove he was on the smuggling trip, said Randee Golder, Hepburn's