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  4. USBP, Partners Intercept Human Smugglers at Sea

USBP, Partners Intercept Human Smugglers at Sea

Release Date
Mon, 12/14/2020

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents arrested nine Mexican nationals after interception of a pleasure craft off-shore near Oceanside Thursday morning.

At approximately 7:30 a.m., USBP agents were notified that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) intercepted a pleasure craft with nine people aboard off-shore from Oceanside in an apparent alien smuggling attempt. USCG escorted the pleasure craft to the Oceanside Harbor where they were met by USBP.

During interviews, agents discovered that the nine Mexican nationals on-board had entered the United States illegally. Agents also determined that three of the illegal aliens were smugglers and are now facing charges of felony alien smuggling.

Three of the six smuggled in the boat are being held as material witnesses.

The pleasure craft was seized by Air and Marine Operations.

This marks the 64th maritime smuggling event in San Diego Sector this fiscal year which began on Oct. 1, 2020.  In fiscal year 2020, San Diego Sector Border Patrol experienced 309 maritime smuggling events.

“As a constant reminder to the public, if you see something out of the ordinary near the coast, don’t hesitate to call authorities,” said CPA Aaron M. Heitke. “These vessels are dangerously overloaded and unsafe in the ever changing ocean conditions. Smugglers exploit migrants and put lives in significant danger for their own profit.” 

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders.  If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please call the San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834 extension 1, or notify local law enforcement by dialing 9-1-1.

Last Modified: Feb 03, 2021