SAN DIEGO — Fifteen people were captured on Sunday night after six illegally entered the United States of America on a sailboat and moored the vessel at San Diego’s Harbor Island.
U.S. Border Patrol agents and the San Diego Maritime Task Force intercepted the boat around 6:30 p.m. Fifteen people were found on the boat in total, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The other nine were apprehended on the belief that they were also involved in the smuggling event.
All fifteen were taken to the local Border Patrol station. It was during immigration inspection that it was discovered six of the fifteen had entered the U.S. illegally. Those arrested were booked into the Metropolitan Correctional facility. Multiple federal charges await the crew as a result of Sunday’s incident.
As for the sailboat, U.S. Border Patrol has seized the vessel.
CBP agents told Breitbart News that the waters off the coast of San Diego are a high-traffic area for illegally smuggling foreign nationals and drugs. Traffickers are known to motor far out in the ocean and far north to evade being caught.
Jet skis have also been used to smuggle illegal aliens into the U.S. off the coast of San Diego. Breitbart News reported on one of these incidents in which the smugglers escaped earlier this year. Boats of illegal aliens have been found transporting foreign nationals from a number of nations including Mexico and Central America.
Smugglers can pocket $10,000 for running an illegal alien into the U.S. over the waters off the coast of San Diego, according to some Border Patrol agent estimates.
Illegal aliens have even tried swimming the waters off the coast to evade capture while entering the U.S. through the ocean, possibly after being dropped off by smugglers.
CBP asks, “If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please contact JHOC at 1-800-854-9834 or 911.”
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana