DHS Partners Intercept 19 Aliens on Panga in the Pacific
POINT LOMA, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents working in coordination with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) law enforcement partners, arrested 19 people who had entered the U.S. illegally by panga boat early Monday morning.
At approximately 11:15 p.m., Sunday night, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircraft spotted a panga style vessel enter the U.S. territorial waters from Mexico with multiple people on board. AMO notified the U.S. Coast Guard. At around 3:45 a.m., Monday morning, the Coast Guard interdicted the panga approximately 15 miles west of Point Loma.
The Coast Guard contacted the U.S. Border Patrol and met at the San Diego Coast Guard dock.
A total of 19 people were intercepted, two were identified as suspected smugglers, the other 17 were passengers illegally present in the U.S. All 19 male illegal aliens were arrested and taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing. Agents determined that two of the passengers were Indian nationals. All others were Mexican nationals.
The suspected smugglers are in DHS custody and may face human smuggling charges. The vessel was seized by AMO.
Attempts to enter the U.S. illegally are dangerous. If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please contact the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834 or 911.
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.