Carlsbad, Calif. - A collaborative effort between members of the California National Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Marine agents, Stonegarden participants and U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented a maritime smuggling attempt early this morning as 21 foreign nationals who illegally entered the country were arrested at Carlsbad State Beach.
At about 2:30 a.m., members of the California National Guard, working in support of CBP, spotted a panga boat along the coastline south of Carlsbad State Beach. The Coastal Border Enforcement Team (CBET) comprised of U.S. Border Patrol agents and CBP officers, along with the Carlsbad Police Department and Oceanside Harbor Police Department converged on the beach as the boat reached the shore.
Several individuals ran ashore while three others attempted to flee by pushing the vessel back into the water. The three abandoned their attempt when they saw the emergency lights of an approaching CBP Marine vessel. Law enforcement personnel searched the area and apprehended a total of 21 individuals.
The group arrested in this smuggling attempt was composed of 20 males and one female. All were adults and Mexican nationals. Agents transported the individuals to a Border Patrol station for processing. An investigation is being conducted to identify and prosecute the individuals responsible for this smuggling attempt. The vessel was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
The interdiction was part of a coordinated effort by member agencies of the Maritime Unified Command. The Maritime Unified Command, comprised of CBP, ICE, the Coast Guard, and other law enforcement partners, is an all-threats multi-agency approach to maritime law enforcement operating in the San Diego and Orange County coastal 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.