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U.S. Border Patrol Foils Maritime Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: 
February 1, 2011

San Clemente, Calif. - Early this morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested eight male Mexican nationals in San Clemente after they were illegally smuggled into the country by boat.

At about 2:45 a.m., Border Patrol agents working near the San Clemente coastline detected a suspicious boat traveling in the darkness with no visible navigation lights. The boat was observed traveling northbound before coming ashore at Calafia State Beach.

Panga boat

The vessel used in the smuggling attempt.

Agents saw several individuals jump from the beached boat and run toward nearby cliffs. Responding agents encountered eight individuals hiding along the cliffs. Agents questioned the individuals and placed them under arrest after determining that all were Mexican nationals who had entered the United States illegally.

The eight adult males whose ages ranged from 25-39 were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing. An investigation is currently being conducted to identify and prosecute the individuals responsible for this smuggling attempt. The boat was seized by the Border Patrol.

The Maritime Unified Command (MUC) is comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP Office of Air & Marine, U.S. Border Patrol, ICE, as well as state and local 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 coastal border. Since October 1, 2010, the collaborative efforts of the Border Patrol and its MUC partners have resulted in the seizure of 36 smuggling vessels and the apprehension of 229 people attempting to illegally enter the United States through our southwest coastal border.

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017