On February 21, at approximately 1:15 a.m., the Joint Harbor Operation Center (JHOC) observed a suspicious vessel enter the U.S.
The information was relayed to USBP agents who were operating additional surveillance equipment and were able to detect the vessel in the dense fog. As agents responded to the area, the small boat was beached north of the Coronado State Beach.
Once ashore, eight people disembarked from the boat and ran to avoid agents. USBP agents pursued and apprehended five people immediately and found the three remaining individuals hiding in the immediate area.
There were five Mexican, and three Yemeni nationals. The eight men ranged from 19 to 36 years-of-age. All were determined to be in the country illegally.
The small vessel was seized by Air and Marine Operations.
“The collaboration and effectiveness of our maritime partnerships is well illustrated by this smuggling incident,” said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Additionally, inclement weather conditions and approaching storms increase the dangers of maritime smuggling at sea.” Chief Heitke added, “This was an outstanding collaborative effort with all of our partners from the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM).”
If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, call 911, and you will be directed through the proper channels.