San Clemente, Calif. - U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a group of 11 illegal aliens in the early morning hours yesterday on the coastline of San Onofre State Beach near Camp Pendleton after they were smuggled into the country by boat.
At approximately 3:40 a.m., Border Patrol agents assigned to the north county coastal enforcement team, as part of the Maritime Unified Command, spotted a panga-style boat travelling eastbound toward the shoreline. Agents responded to the area where they observed the boat quickly returning to sea. Agents searched the area and encountered a total of 11 individuals hiding in the hills alongside the beach.
Agents questioned the group of eight males and three females, and determined they had entered the U.S. Ten individuals were determined to be Mexican nationals, and one individual a Columbian national. The group was arrested and transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing and further investigation.
Agents identified one of the individuals in the group as being responsible for the smuggling attempt, and he is currently being held in federal custody pending prosecution for alien smuggling. Two individuals were identified as prior maritime smuggling apprehensions, and were prosecuted for felony re-entry after deportation charges. The remaining eight subjects were all deported from the country via expedited removal and reinstatement of prior deportation order charges.
At minimum, the consequence of expedited removal will be utilized for anyone attempting to illegally enter the United States through the maritime environment. If any of these individuals are caught attempting illegal re-entry in the future, they will be amenable to federal felony re-entry after deportation charges.
The U.S. Border Patrol is a member agency of the Maritime Unified Command. The MUC is comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP's Office of Air & Marine and U.S. Border Patrol, 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.