Human smuggler in go-fast boat carrying 200 gallons of gasoline admits to making run to Cuba

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KEY WEST, FL – A Florida man caught by police admitted he loaded up his go-fast boat with 200 gallons of gasoline in an effort to reach Cuba to smuggle Cubans into the United States.

32-year-old Jose Ramirez De Leon of Tequesta was arrested Thursday for illegally transporting approximately 200 gallons of gasoline in large drums in a go-fast boat.

“The Sheriff’s Office stopped a GMC pickup truck towing a 27-foot Carrera boat with twin 250 horsepower outboards for no tag on the trailer at approximately 4 p.m. at the Aviation Boulevard boat ramp in Marathon,” the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Six, 33-gallon drums containing gasoline were inside the boat. An electric fuel pump commonly used in human smuggling operations was found in the center console as well as a satellite phone and a box of Dramamine. A GPS on the boat had coordinates saved for a location in Cuba.

“Ramirez De Leon admitted that he was headed to Cuba to pick up Cubans and return to the U.S.,” the MCSO said.