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Maritime Human Smuggling Attempt Results in 15 Arrests for USBP

Release Date: 
May 18, 2020

SAN DIEGO — USBP San Diego Sector (SDC) arrested 15 people after a small vessel made landfall on one of San Diego’s local beaches early Monday morning.

In a failed human smuggling event Monday morning, USBP arrests 15 people illegally present in the U.S. Vessel used in smuggling scene ending up capsizing close to landfall.The event began on Monday, May 18 at approximately 7:10 a.m., when agents received a call from San Diego Lifeguards who reported seeing a small vessel make landfall near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ladera St.

Border Patrol agents responded to the area and discovered that the vessel had capsized and 13 people were stranded on a small beach area near Sunset Cliffs.

Agents set up a perimeter and arrested two people who had climbed up the cliffs from the beach. The remaining 13 people stayed on the beach.  The rising tide caused the waters to approach the people left stranded.

Lifeguards from the city of San Diego were called upon and escorted the group of 13 people utilizing their personnel water craft to a waiting Coast Guard vessel.  Once safely on the vessel, the group was then escorted to Ballast Point in Point Loma to awaiting Border Patrol agents.

Once there, agents determined that 12 Mexican men, two Mexican woman and one Honduran man, ranging 19-57 years of age, were aboard the panga boat.  Agents determined that all 15 were illegally present in the U.S.  No other people were expected to be on the boat. 

The group of 15 were taken to a local Border Patrol station for further processing.

The boat was seized by CBP Air and Marine Operations.

If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please call 9-1-1, and you will be directed through the proper channels.

Last modified: 
May 18, 2020