San Diego - Today, in a recent surge of maritime smuggling attempts, the latest incident occurred early this morning in San Diego, where U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended a 22-foot panga boat carrying 21 illegal aliens.
Border Patrol agents spotted a vessel traveling northbound off of the San Diego coastline at about 2:30 a.m. Agents followed the vessel until it landed ashore just south of San Luis Obispo Place in south Mission Beach, where agents discovered 21 individuals hiding along the seawall of the beach.
Included in the group apprehended were 19 Mexican males, and two Hondurans-one male and one female. The group was transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing and further investigation.
Agents also detained a 25-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a white commercial van suspected of being involved in the incident. Agents observed the suspect on a mobile phone who appeared to be looking for the group of illegal aliens who had just come ashore. The U.S. Border Patrol seized the vessel and transported the white van to a local Border Patrol station for further investigation.
The U.S. Border Patrol is a participating law enforcement agency within the Maritime Unified Command, a collaborative law enforcement effort between local, state and federal agencies operating in the San Diego maritime domain. Since Oct. 1, 2009, the Maritime Unified Command is responsible for the arrests of more than 790 foreign nationals from maritime smuggling attempts in the San Diego region.
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.