Haitian man pleads guilty to smuggling illegal immigrants


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ST. THOMAS - A second man held responsible for the death of eight illegal immigrants during a smuggling trip to the territory pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court.

Dieuseul Mompremier, a Haitian national living on St. Thomas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants into the United States.

Mompremier was charged in April in a 10-count indictment, along with Lamorthe Delva and Roro Edourre.

In December 2010, Mompremier, Delva and Edourre conspired with each other and additional co-conspirators to smuggle 33 people, most of them Haitians, to St. John.

Edourre was the captain of the vessel "Jesus La," which started out on Dec. 5, 2010, from St. Maarten.

Edourre intended to get the people to Mompremier and Delva, who were waiting on St. John.

The U.S. Coast Guard spotted the "Jesus La" while en route, and tried to pursue the vessel, according to the indictment.

While evading the Coast Guard, Edourre ran the "Jesus La" aground in the Brandywine Bay area of Tortola and sank, resulting in the death of at least eight individuals, including four children.

Mompremier and Delva each face maximum penalties of life in prison and $250,000 fines.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Mompremier and Delva on Sept. 25 before District Judge Curtis Gomez.

Edourre was prosecuted for manslaughter in the British Virgin Islands, where he currently is serving his sentence.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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