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Border Patrol catches 30 Cubans in Florida

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KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Border Patrol agents took 30 Cubans into custody Sunday after they reached land on the Florida Keys.

The 16 men, six women, five girls and three boys were discovered by state Department of Environmental Protection officials in mangroves near John Pennekamp Park, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said.

Members of the group said they departed Villa Clara, Cuba, on Friday aboard a 30-foot boat and reached land early Sunday. They told authorities they had paid the smuggler $8,000 each.

They said the smuggler abandoned them in mangroves to avoid detection, INS said. The smuggler and boat returned to Cuba. The migrants were transferred to a detention center for illegal immigrants until their cases can be resolved.