San Diego - U.S. Border Patrol agents detained three men early this morning for attempting to smuggle 1,460 pounds of marijuana into the United States aboard a 25-foot, open-hulled panga boat.
At approximately 1:20 a.m., a California National Guard Entry Identification Team assisting U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to coastal enforcement duties, observed a suspicious boat traveling along the San Diego County coastline near Carlsbad State Beach. Border Patrol agents responded to the area and observed the boat had come ashore just north of the power plant. Agents conducted a search of the area and arrested a 31-year-old Mexican national and a 29-year-old United States citizen who had fled from the beached boat. A search of the panga revealed five fuel containers and 19 bundles of marijuana with a total weight of 1459.9 pounds and an estimated street value of $729,950.
At approximately 1:50 a.m., Carlsbad Police searched the area for any additional subjects and stopped a suspicious vehicle for further questioning. Border Patrol agents responded to the scene and took custody of a 29-year-old Nicaraguan national who was legally present in the U.S. The three men, drugs, vehicle, and boat were turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Marine Task Force for further investigation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a strong enforcement posture along the coastal borders to detect and apprehend smugglers of humans, drugs and other contraband and is a member agency of the Maritime Unified Command The MUC is a Department of Homeland Security coordinated effort and is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement partners operating in the San Diego and Orange County maritime domain. The MUC utilizes the fusion of intelligence, planning and operations to target the threat of transnational crime along the Southern California coastal border. To report suspicious maritime activity, call the Joint Harbor Operations Center at (1-800) 854-9834.
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.