FORT MYERS, Fla. - Three men accused of leading authorities on a 345-mile boat chase across the Gulf of Mexico are each being held on at least $1.25 million bail.
David Llanes Vasquez of Miami, Raul de la Vega-Sauri of Homestead and Vidal Ramirez-Farfan of Mexico were arrested late Thursday. They’re accused of leading the sheriff’s office and the Coast Guard on a 20-hour chase that followed a boat theft in Fort Myers Beach.
The Coast Guard returned the men and the stolen 36-foot boat to shore Sunday.
The men face multiple charges of burglary and grand theft. Vasquez, 33, also faces additional counts of fleeing law enforcement and assault, among other charges.
The Naples Daily News reports that each requested the appointment of a public defender at their first court appearance Monday.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office was conducting overnight patrols targeting boat thefts when they were alerted to a theft in progress early Thursday in Fort Myers Beach.
When officers arrived, the suspects allegedly attempted to ram their vessel with the stolen boat. The ensuing open-water chase covered over 345 miles before it ended about 125 miles east of Cancun, Mexico, and about 65 miles west of Cuba.
Coast Guard crews chase down suspected stolen vessel
Three men aboard a stolen “go-fast” type vessel with three 300-horse power engines led multiple #USCG crews and other federal, state and local law enforcement officials on a chase that ended when the trio was apprehended approximately 125 miles east of Cancun, Mexico.The suspects led U.S. Coast Guard Southeast crews on a search stretching almost 345 miles.
Posted by U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday, December 27, 2015