Shawn A. Callwood, the 36 year-old USVI boat captain who was arrested in May this year for smuggling illegal immigrants from Tortola to St. Thomas, pleaded guilty on August 6.
Callwood was arrested on charges of Smuggling Illegal Aliens from Dominican Republic and Others Arrested for Illegal Reentry by Aggravated Felons into the United States.
He is facing up to 10 years in prison for the smuggling charge.
The court heard that on May 9, the Marine Interdiction Agents (MIA) of the Air and Marine Operations (AMO) intercepted Callwood’s vessel in the U.S. territorial waters near St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
It was reported that Callwood failed to yield to both lights and sirens directing him to stop, and as a result a warning shot was fired across the bow of his vessel.
Authorities later discovered four undocumented illegal aliens, including Glenys Gruz-Calcano, Anyi Paola Calcano, Luis Alberto Pimentel Gautier, and Rafael Morales-Osoria, on board when the vessel came to a stop.
It was noted that Luis Alberto Pimentel Gautier and Rafael Morales-Osoria both have been previously deported from the United States pursuant to felony convictions.
The case is being investigated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Air and Marine Operations (AMO), the USCG and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anna A. Vlasova.
Callwood made his first appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez on May 10. Judge Gomez detained all five defendants pending further proceedings.