Illegal immigrants discovered on SC-bound container ship

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two illegal immigrants are charged with stowing aboard a container ship out of the Dominican Republic bound for the Lowcountry, and prosecutors say one of them has a felony record.

U.S. Attorney William Nettles said the stowaways were found June 12 at the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant. Eddy Martinez "El Baron" Reyees is charged with reentry of an alien subsequent to a conviction for an aggravated felony, and Jose Miguel "ChiChi" Crisostomo-Perez is charged with improper entry of an alien.

Authorities say the men hid in a container and cut a hole in the top to get air. Authorities captured one man on the ship and the other from the water. A third suspected stowaway was found dead in a cargo container.

"The immediate capture and investigation of these two individuals is a great example of the cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement with industry, here in Charleston," said Port Customs and Border Protection Director Robert A. Fencel. "These cooperative efforts help to ensure the safety of the port, the community and the nation."

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.