Speedboat drops off 12 to 20 migrants in Boca Raton

Witnesses say several were hiding in the hull

BOCA RATON, Fla. - BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A speedboat dropped off 12 to 20 migrants in Boca Raton Thursday morning.

Witnesses say the boat, which was tracked by the Coast Guard from the Bahamas, docked along the Intracoastal Waterway just south of the Camino Real bridge.

"This is bizarre, it's by the resort. I can't believe this all of a sudden happened," says Rane Honablue who watched the boat dock from the balcony at the Royal Colonial Apartments. "It was a speed boat with young men and women aboard, maybe in their 20's."

"The boat was docked here and I don't think they took anyone off the boat. I think the people fled in the vans and that's when some were caught," says Jeff Manassian, who works nearby.

One van ended up in Highland Beach where Border Patrol agents, along with Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies and Boca Raton police took at least 5 people into custody.

Witnesses at the Trafalgar Condominium said three people made it into a unit on the first floor and were hiding there until they split up inside the building.

Police caught up with them a short time later.

Other migrants were also found just a few miles south in Deerfield Beach.

Homeland Security officials declined to say how many people are in custody. They say the case is still under investigation.

Boca Raton police, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Highland Beach police and Border Patrol are working the case.
 

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