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USBP Marine Unit Nabs 16, Seizes Boat in Bayside Smuggling Attempt

Release Date: 
August 3, 2021

MISSION BEACH, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents assigned to the San Diego Sector’s newly formed Marine Unit intercepted a sports fishing vessel on Saturday night that was carrying 16 undocumented migrants.

On July 31 at approximately 7:45 p.m., USBP agents patrolling the San Diego coastline observed a 25-foot sports fishing vessel enter the Mission Bay channel.  Agents noted that the vessel appeared to be heavy in the water and had several subjects on board.

Conducting a vessel stop, the agents questioned the two operators and three people on deck.  A further inspection of the craft revealed 11 additional people inside the cabin.

Agents quickly determined that all 16 people on board, including a 15-year-old unaccompanied juvenile, were undocumented migrants who were illegally present in the U.S.  The 16 were arrested and taken to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.

The operator of the vessel, a 30-year-old Mexican national, and the co-operator, a 50-year-old Mexican national, were placed under arrest and face Federal human smuggling charges.  The vessel was seized by USBP.

“Smuggling along the California coastline is not only illegal, it is inherently dangerous for all involved parties,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.  “I’m thankful our agents and partners are out there daily to intercept such incidents.”

To prevent illegal entry and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders.  To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at 619-498-9900.

Last modified: 
August 3, 2021