Jimmy Metellus, a Haitian man, accused of piloting a boat overloaded with migrants that overturned off the coast of south Florida, could be facing the death penalty. Metellus is charged with alien smuggling that resulted in death

Metellus was among 16 survivors rescued last week from the water, after the boat carrying some 30 migrants from the Bahamas capsized. At least nine migrants died and five are still missing.

Metellus told investigators a smuggler hired him to pilot the boat to Miami. A U.S. magistrate judge told him in court today that the deaths make him “potentially eligible” for the death penalty in the case.