San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection marine interdiction agents thwarted two illegal immigration attempts at sea this past weekend, off the coast of San Diego.
In the first attempt on Saturday, July 31, at about 3 a.m., CBP marine interdiction agents on routine patrol about five miles off the coast of La Jolla spotted a vessel of interest on their radar. Using night vision, the agents confirmed that the vessel was a panga, a Mexican fishing boat commonly used in U.S. waters for illegal smuggling activity, with a large group of people aboard running with no lights.
The agents aboard the CBP Midnight Express maritime interceptor vessel interdicted the 30-foot white panga, which stopped shortly after the agents used the lights and siren on their interceptor vessel. A second CBP maritime interceptor vessel with Marine Interdiction Agents and a CBP Officer onboard also provided backup for the interdiction.
There were a total of 23 Mexican nationals, three female and 20 male, attempting to enter the U.S. illegally aboard the panga. Marine Interdiction Agents found only 21 life jackets for the 23 people.
In the second attempt on Sunday, Aug. 1, at about 3:30 p.m., CBP marine interdiction agents stopped a recreational vessel crossing into the U.S. from Mexico about 4 miles south of Point Loma.
Upon investigating the 1976 24-foot Sea Ray, marine interdiction agents discovered that the male U.S. citizen driving the boat was accompanied by four illegal aliens; one female and two male Mexican citizens and one male Guatemalan citizen. None of the boat's occupants were wearing life jackets.
CBP marine interdiction agents seized both vessels, and turned custody of the illegal aliens over to CBP U.S. Border Patrol agents. The agents turned custody of the U.S. citizen over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
From Oct. 1, 2009, to July 31, 2010, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more than 867,500 pounds of drugs exceeding $694 million in value.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.
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.