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Records show Florida made another payment to aviation company that chartered migrant flights

10 Tampa Bay is following the money trail.

FLORIDA, USA — Public records showed the state of Florida made another payment to the aviation company that flew migrants last week from Texas to Martha's Vineyard.

Tuesday afternoon, a flight departing from San Antonio, Texas was originally intended to land in President Biden's home state of Delaware.

State leaders in Delaware started preparing a response but the plane instead landed in New Jersey.


The mystery continues surrounding who was on the flight, where it was going, and what eventually happened after it landed in Teterboro, New Jersey.

One thing we do know is the state paid $950,000 to Vertol Systems Company Inc., the same transportation company the state paid $615,000 to last week. However, Tuesday in Bradenton, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis would not confirm if the money was for another migrant flight.

10 Tampa Bay has asked the state what the payment went toward and requested the contract with Vertol Systems.


The state legislature allotted $12 million dollars in the state budget for a relocation program of unauthorized aliens. That's an important distinction because we don't know for sure if the migrants on the planes were illegal immigrants, asylum seekers, or refugees.

"Effectively what we have here is FDOT paying a private contractor to bring people, and I'm not going to say unauthorized aliens because a number of these were reported pretty concretely to be asylum seekers, which is a completely different classification, flying them from San Antonio, touching down in Crestview (Florida), no one is disembarking," Sen. Jason Pizzo (D- Miami-Dade) said.

RELATED: DeSantis says migrant flights 'opening people's eyes' to secure border as another payment made

Credit: FLSenate.gov
The portion of Florida's budget where it discusses how money can be used for the migrant relocation program.

Some state leaders are also questioning the legality of the migrant flights because the migrants were in Texas, not Florida.

The law specifically says a program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law.

Pizzo says touching down in Florida is a weak attempt to comply with the law.

"The governor signed into law very recently this year should be fresh on his mind, I think very clearly violates it, I don't care what background, what political partisanship you have," Pizzo added.

The state still has more than $10 million left to use on relocation efforts and Tuesday DeSantis says they'll move forward with plans and continue to make an impact.


We learned new details into what could have happened to the nearly 50 migrants who boarded a plane last week from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard.

Wednesday afternoon, lawyers who filed the federal lawsuit against DeSantis accused him of intentionally interfering with the federal immigration system. 

Lawyers for Civil Rights and Alianza Americas say those seeking immigration legally were sabotaged, alleging the paperwork the migrants received wasn't fully translated making it impossible for them to give informed consent.

RELATED: Migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard file lawsuit against DeSantis, Florida

RELATED: Bused, flown migrants can live in US, for now

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