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Deception Pass is a strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island, in the northwest part of the U.S. state of Washington. It connects Skagit Bay, part of Puget Sound, with the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A pair of bridges known collectively as Deception Pass Bridge cross Deception Pass, and the bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the waters of Deception Pass, just east of the present-day Deception Pass Bridge, is a small island known as Ben Ure Island. The island became infamous for its activity of human smuggling of migrant Chinese people for local labor. Ben Ure and his partner Lawrence "Pirate" Kelly were quite profitable at their human smuggling business and played hide-and-seek with the United States Customs Department for years. Ure's own operation at Deception Pass in the late 1880s consisted of Ure and his Native-American wife.
Local tradition has it that his wife would camp on the nearby Strawberry Island (which was visible from the open sea) and signal him with a fire on the island's summit to alert him to whether or not it was safe to attempt to bring the human cargo he illegally transported ashore. For transport, Ure would tie the people up in burlap bags so that if customs agents were to approach he could easily toss the people in bags overboard. The tidal currents would carry the entrapped drowned migrants' bodies to San Juan Island to the north and west of the pass and many ended up in what became known as Dead Man's Bay.