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Taser Used During Cuban Smuggling Incident

Dry Tortugas National Park

National Park News

Ranger Steve Roper was on patrol near Loggerhead Key on Wednesday, August 1st, when he saw a blue “go-fast” boat, commonly used to smuggle migrants into the country, leaving the north end of the key at a high rate of speed. He quickly confirmed that nine illegal immigrants had been dropped off on the island. Rangers searched the area for the go-fast, but were unable to locate it. When Roper contacted the illegal migrants, one of them became belligerent and combative. Roper used his taser on him, then took him into custody. Other rangers arrived on the island and helped secure and control the migrants, who were then flown to Key West and transferred to the Border Patrol. The migrant in custody was turned over to the Coast Guard. Coast Guard personnel also located the go-fast and apprehended the operator. The Border Patrol is conducting a follow-up investigation. Dry Tortugas NP is located only 90 miles from Cuba and is therefore a common entry point for Cuban migrants and for smuggling. The Cuban Readjustment Act of 1966 permits Cuban migrants who make it to U.S. soil (“dry foot”) to remain in the United States. So far, 509 migrants have landed in the park in 2007. This incident marks the twelfth go-fast type drop-off in the park this year.


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