San Diego - U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented a maritime human smuggling attempt this morning near Ocean Beach and arrested 15 foreign nationals who illegally entered the U.S. by boat.
At approximately 2 a.m., agents assigned to coastal border enforcement duties observed a panga boat near Sunset Cliffs heading south at a high rate of speed without running lights. Agents became suspicious of the boat and responded to the area where they located a 30-year-old male Mexican national in wet, sandy clothing hiking up a path from the beach. Agents arrested the individual after determining he had entered the country illegally.
Agents searched the area beneath the cliffs and located 14 additional subjects near the beach at about 3 a.m. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air & Marine aircraft responded to assist agents in searching the area in an attempt to locate additional subjects.
The ten men and five women admitted they entered the U.S. illegally through the ocean aboard a panga boat. Fourteen individuals claimed to be Mexican nationals and one male claimed to be a Guatemalan national.
The subjects were arrested and transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing and further investigation.
If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of Southern California, please contact the Sector San Diego U.S. Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center at (800) 854-9834.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.