A fugitive husband and wife team wanted in St. Maarten for manslaughter and human trafficking were picked up Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla. for shoplifting jeans from a local mall, according to national news reports.
According to previously published reports, Raymond Registe and his wife Medeline Registe-Val’s attempts to smuggle about 25 illegal immigrants from St. Maarten into the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this year failed after the boat hit a reef and sank near the British Virgin Islands, killing 12 on board.
A warrant for their arrest has since been outstanding in both the Netherlands Antilles and the U.S. Virgin Islands, since the couple was thought to have been living on St. Thomas, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the territory. The warrants were discovered by Boca Raton police early Saturday evening when the couple was being processed.
"Generally, with a misdemeanor shoplifting, we wouldn’t have even given them a court date, but because they had this warrant outstanding, they were held on the shoplifting charge until the U.S. Marshals were contacted," Officer Sandra Boonenberg, a spokeswoman for the Boca Raton police, told the Source Friday.
The couple has since been turned over into custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and has been detained pending their extradition back to St. Maarten, according to Wayne Pickering, supervisor of the U.S. Marshals Service in West Palm Beach.
"We have an agreement with the county jail to hold on to them," Pickering said Friday. "Because this is an extradition matter to a foreign country, there is no bail, so they will be detained until they’re extradited back."