SAN DIEGO – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations Agents, with the help of the Coast Guard, interdicted a recreational vessel carrying nine undocumented migrants on the evening of Feb. 8, 2016.
At approximately 10:30 p.m., agents conducting a maritime patrol along the San Diego coastline received information from the Coast Guard that a pleasure craft had earlier crossed the U.S./Mexico sea border and now appeared dead-in-the water near the Ocean Beach pier.
A CBP A-Star helicopter A-Star helicopter assisted with vessel traffic and directed agents operating an AMO SAFE Boat to the suspect vessel. Agents arrived on scene to discover an unlit, ill-equipped and overloaded vessel with nine persons on board. AMO agents determined that all passengers were in the country illegally.
“Operating an unlit and overloaded vessel at night, without proper safety equipment poses an extreme risk to the lives and safety of all the passengers on board,” said Director of Marine Operations Jeremy Thompson. “I’m thankful that our Agents were able to interrupt this maritime smuggling attempt safely, protecting the lives of both the occupants of this vessel as well the entire boating public.”
Agents arrested the operator and navigator of the vessel and transported all nine passengers to the Custom’s dock in San Diego Bay where they were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for processing. The vessel was also seized.
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.