Aug. 18 (UPI) — Customs and Border Protection officers took into custody a 26-year-old Cuban national at the Miami International Airport early Friday after he arrived in the belly of a passenger plane from Havana.
The agency said a ramp agent confronted the man, identified as Yunier Garcia Duarte, while workers were taking off the plane’s luggage after the carrier arrived at the airport. The worker contacted CBP and the stowaway was detained, a statement said.
“Individuals are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces and CBP is trained and ready to respond with appropriate actions to prevent serious injuries or death whenever possible,” Miami International Airport Port Director Christopher D. Maston said in a statement.
“Teams of CBP officers maintain a robust posture regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws while facilitating trade and travel at ports of entry statewide,” Maston continued.
An attorney representing Garcia told WSVN-TV that the suspect has family in Atlanta and they were preparing to travel to Miami to see him.
According to aviation expert Wayne Black, cold temperatures and other factors make stowing away on an airplane dangerous.
“The stowaway took his life in his hands when he got on there,” Black said. “The luggage can shift and things like that. Who knows what the oxygen level is … What happened with the stowaway from Cuba should not have happened.”