San Diego - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two Mexican nationals early this morning attempting to smuggle 399 pounds of marijuana inside a panga-style boat that came ashore on a Del Mar beach.
Border Patrol agents spotted the boat around 3 a.m., traveling with no visible navigation lights as it made its way north along the coastline in the waters off La Jolla, Calif. Agents tracked the boat as it came ashore at about 3:50 a.m., near North Beach in Del Mar.
Border Patrol agents observed two males in the beached boat. As agents approached the boat, the men attempted to restart the boat and head back out to sea. Agents were able to prevent the men from escaping and brought them ashore.
Agents inspected the boat and discovered 26 bundles of marijuana weighing 399 pounds with an estimated street value of nearly $240,000.
The suspected smugglers, ages 41 and 28, were taken into custody with the marijuana and transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing. Agents later turned over custody of the men and the narcotics to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The boat was seized by the Border Patrol.
The U.S. Border Patrol maintains a strong enforcement posture on the coastal borders to detect, apprehend, and deter smugglers of humans, drugs and other contraband and is a member agency of the Maritime Unified Command (MUC). The MUC is also comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP Office of Air & Marine, CBP Office of Field Operations, ICE, as well as state and local law enforcement partners operating in the San Diego and Orange County maritime domain. The MUC utilizes the fusion of intelligence, planning and operations to target the threat of transnational crime along the coastal border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.