Jose Casares, Felix Barbeito, and Jose Morando, dubbed the Spanish pirates in newspaper accounts, were among the crew of the brig Crawford sailing from Matanzas, Cuba, to New York City.
French sailor Alexander Hardy, who had a long history of piracy, was also on board. With him he carried forged papers that showed him to be in command of the ship en route to Hamburg, Germany. While still in port, he enlisted the Spaniards to assist him in his scheme to seize the Crawford.
The ship left port on May 28, 1827. After their attempt to poison the crew failed, on June 3, the four men began a rampage through the ship, killing Captain Henry Brightman and eight of the crew.
The four men and the crew they retained to sail the ship docked in Virginia on June 12. One of the crew escaped and alerted authorities, whose arrival led Hardy to commit suicide. Casares, Barbeito, and Morando fled, but were apprehended.
The three men were tried for piracy in the U.S. Circuit Court in Richmond in July 1827. They were convicted on July 20 and sentenced to death. They were hanged together in Richmond on August 17, 1827.