U.S. Border Patrol Agents Foil Maritime Smuggling Attempt in Coronado Beach

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An Air and Marine Operations Marine Interdiction Officer conducts a maritime patrol while another crew member watches for suspicious activity near San Diego. Photo: US Customs and Border Protection

On Tuesday morning, US Border Patrol agents arrested a group of eight migrants, including three undocumented non-citizens with criminal histories, as they attempted to land on Coronado Beach.

The event happened on August 2, around 4:25 a.m., when officers spotted the obscured pleasure craft heading north along the coast from Mexican waters. As the vessel continued to move north, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) officers aboard a CBP interceptor vessel approached the vessel, at which time the operator attempted to escape at high speed. The ship continued to travel north along the coast, past the Naval Training Center and into the surf just west of Hotel del Coronado.

Maritime interdiction officers test the capabilities of AMO’s Coastal Interception Vessel. Photographer: Carolos Rivera, courtesy of US Customs and Border Protection.

Around 5 a.m., the ship landed on Coronado Beach, where eight people jumped off the ship and began running north. Officers responded to the scene and arrested the eight migrants.

“The smugglers only care about making money and are ready to bring anyone into our communities, regardless of their criminal past.” Chief Patrol Officer Aaron M. Heitke said. “Furthermore, they continue to use these dangerous tactics in their efforts to bring their goods, whether drugs or people, into the United States. Maritime smuggling not only endangers people making l smuggled, but also our agents who often go selflessly into the waves to rescue them.

The group, all adults, was made up of six Mexican men, a Mexican woman and a Guatemalan woman. Record checks revealed that among the smuggled migrants were a documented gang member, a previously convicted sex offender and a subject with a prior drug conviction.

The eight undocumented non-citizens are in US Border Patrol custody and are being treated accordingly.

The vessel was seized by AMO.

Source: US Customs and Border Protection

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