The dead man was found in the boat by agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but an autopsy was inconclusive as to the cause of death, according to court records.
Humberto Chavarin-Millan, 25, pleaded guilty to bringing in an undocumented immigrant for financial gain. A charge involving the deceased immigrant was dismissed because it couldn’t be determined how he died.
The man apparently didn’t drown, but could have succumbed to hypothermia or something else unrelated, records state. The man’s identity and national residence was not listed in court records.
Chavarin-Millan was transferred to federal prison April 19, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website. His parole date is set for May 15, 2014.
Chavarin-Millan was the only crew member and piloted the 16- to 18-foot boat in an unsafe manner before it beached. Several passengers were injured, and all 13 survivors were arrested after agents followed footprints in the sand. The undocumented immigrants were found hiding in bushes near the intersection of Law Street and Ocean Boulevard.
The boat’s occupants told agents they paid thousands of dollars to be smuggled, and one woman said she paid $8,000 before the voyage. Chavarin-Millan could have received a maximum sentence of 10 years.