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Two Men Sentenced to 16 Months in Prison in Refugee’s Death

January 12, 1996

MIAMI (AP) _ Two men were sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for involuntary manslaughter after a Cuban refugee died aboard their crowded speed boat during a smuggling operation.

Abel Miranda-Fuentes, 21, and Jorge Nimer-Role, 27, pleaded guilty to the charge in November to avoid being charged with murder in the death of Yalina Gort, 22. They were sentenced on Thursday.

Gort was among two dozen refugees aboard a 30-foot boat which raced out of Matanzas, Cuba. Coast Guard officials found Gort dead when they stopped to assist the boat May 14 about 35 miles south of Key West.

According to the autopsy report, Gort died of multiple injuries from blunt trauma caused by repeated bouncing on choppy seas.

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