Cuban refugees come ashore on Gasparilla Island
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office located 17 Cuban refugees walking along Gulf Boulevard and 1st Street West on Boca Grande at approximately 1:45 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
The refugees, nine men and eight women, were cold and wet and were taken to the fire station on Boca Grande where they were fed.
The Sheriff’s Office, in turn, notified the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The refugees were turned over to ICE for investigation. Meanwhile, a BOLO – a be-on-the-lookout – was put out for possible smugglers and a suspect vessel.
The refugees remain in the custody of ICE while the investigation continues.
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office