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Two charged in death of illegal immigrant

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 23, 2007


MIAMI

Two men have been arrested on federal smuggling charges related to the death of an illegal immigrant from Jamaica, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Monday.

Ricky Thompson, 40, identified as a Bahamian boat captain, and Leon Brice Johnson, 38, a U.S. citizen, were charged with alien smuggling that resulted in death, federal prosecutors said. Johnson's hometown was not immediately available. The charge carries a maximum of life in prison.

Martin County authorities discovered an abandoned 35-foot motorboat grounded in Hobe Sound on Dec. 28. Authorities also found 83 pounds of marijuana and 2.2 pounds of cocaine near the boat. Nine illegal immigrants from Jamaica, Haiti and Romania were taken into custody. The body of a 10th Jamaican was found floating nearby.

TALLAHASSEE

Slot machine backers want trial postponed

Sponsors of a citizen initiative allowing slot machines in Broward and Miami-Dade counties asked the Florida Supreme Court on Monday to delay a trial on a challenge to the state constitutional amendment until the justices rule on related issues.

Floridians for a Level Playing Field, the group sponsoring the measure, said the justices should block the trial until they resolve questions regarding the gathering of signatures and consider an appeal from the group on other grounds.

Floridians Against Expanded Gambling, the Humane Society of the United States and GREY2K USA, a greyhound protection organization, alleged that slot backers submitted thousands of forged signatures to get the amendment on the 2004 ballot.

JACKSONVILLE

Authorities say officer killed in self-defense

An undercover detective fatally shot a man in self-defense, authorities said Monday.

Evidence showed that Douglas "D.J." Woods fired at undercover Detective Jay Taylor, and Taylor fired back, the Sheriff's Office said.

A revolver found near Woods' body after the shooting Saturday had several spent rounds.

Taylor and a partner, both in plain clothes, drove to the apartment complex posing as drug buyers in a sting.