A Mexican national was arrested and charged today in federal court in Boston in connection with the murder of an individual aboard a fishing vessel off the coast of Massachusetts.
Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, was charged with one count of murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and one count of attempted murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. He will appear in federal court in Boston at a time to be determined.
According to the charging document, on Sept. 23, 2018, the fishing vessel, Captain Billy Haver, was sailing approximately 55 miles off the coast of Nantucket with seven crew members aboard, including Vazquez. It is alleged that at some point in the afternoon, Vazquez assaulted another crew member on board with a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other. The victim then saw that another crewmember was lying on the deck bleeding. Vazquez then struck a third crew member. It is further alleged that Vazquez then climbed up the mast of the ship as the others onboard tried to capture him.
It is alleged that the captain of the ship placed a call on the distress channel, to which a German cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 6, responded. Two of the wounded were taken aboard the cruise ship, where one victim was pronounced dead by the ship’s doctor.
According to court documents, Vazquez is illegally present in the United States. On March 9, 2018, he was arrested in Newport News, Va., for abduction by force, intimidation, or deception, and released on bond.
The charge of murder provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. The charge of attempted murder provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Vazquez will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of any sentence imposed. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Richard D. Cox, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S Coast Guard Investigative Services Northeast Region; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Wichers of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.