Working in coordination with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested eight people who illegally entered the U.S. by panga boat early Sunday morning.
On Sept. 23 at approximately 5:15 a.m., near La Jolla, Calif., a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) vessel observed a panga-style fishing boat illegally enter the United States. USCG relayed the entry to the Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC), activating a response by Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO).
An AMO vessel was then dispatched to intercept the single-engine panga. At approximately 6 a.m., AMO intercepted the panga at sea and took the boat and its eight passengers to a secure location for further investigation.
Border Patrol agents assigned to the San Diego Sector Coastal Border Enforcement Team (CBET) responded and determined that all eight passengers onboard were Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States. Agents also identified two men, a 38-year-old and a 50-year-old, as suspected smugglers.
The six smuggled undocumented aliens consisted of three women and three men. Two of the three women, ages 18 and 20, claimed to be pregnant and complained of stomach pains. They were immediately taken to a nearby hospital for observation. The three men are 19, 25, and 31-years-old.