Man gets 21 years in prison for smuggling migrants
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy clashed Thursday over a planned nationwide immigration enforcement operation expected to begin this weekend targeting people who are in the United States illegally. (July 11) AP, AP
MIAMI — A Jamaican man has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison in the United States for running a human smuggling operation.
Court records show 44-year-old Michael Stapleton was extradited to the U.S. last year and sentenced Thursday to 21 years and 10 months.
A federal jury in South Florida found him guilty of 47 counts related to a people smuggling scheme.
Prosecutors say Stapleton coordinated the smuggling of undocumented immigrants to the United States from around the world through Freeport, Bahamas. Witnesses testified that Stapleton used the vulnerability of the immigrants to exploit them by demanding more money from them after they were in his power, keeping them in deplorable conditions, mistreating them and sending them out in unsafe boats.