Disney cruise ship rescues 3 federal fugitives at sea

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The Disney Fantasy cruise ship (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Disney Fantasy cruise ship rescued three people clinging to a capsized boat near Cuba late last week who turned out to be fugitives, the U.S. Marshals Service told N13.

Luis Rivera-Garcia, Juliet Estrada-Perez and Enrique Gonzalez-Torres were wanted for violating their supervised release on federal credit-card fraud charges in New Orleans.

At about 11:30 a.m. Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard was contacted by the Disney Fantasy, whose crew reported it had rescued three people clinging to a capsized vessel about 40 miles north of Varadero, Cuba, according to the Marshal’s Service.

The three were all Cuban nationals from the U.S. One had a valid Florida driver’s license, the Marshal’s Service said. They were turned over to deputy marshals in Key West.

Rivera-Garcia, Estrada-Perez and Gonzalez-Torres all had been arrested on credit card fraud charges Oct. 7, 2015 by the U.S. Secret Service in New Orleans.

Just three days before they were rescued at sea, Estrada-Perez and Rivera-Garcia were arrested in Fort Myers by Lee County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with trafficking in stolen credit cards.

The Marshal’s Service thinks the three may have been fleeing to Cuba to avoid prosecution in the U.S.