Three Migrants from Yemen Apprehended in Human Smuggling Op off California Coast

CBP agents arrest nine illegal aliens off the California coast near San Diego. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Air and Marine Operations)
File Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Air and Marine Operations

San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended eight migrants including three men from Yemen during a failed human smuggling attempt off the California coast.

During the early morning hours of February 21, the Joint Harbor Operations Center notified Border Patrol agents about a suspicious boat approaching U.S. waters. Border Patrol agents operating surveillance equipment located the boat in the dense fog, according to information obtained from San Diego Sector Border Patrol officials.

Agents arrived in the area and found the small boat beached north of the Coronado State Beach, officials reported. As they approached, the agents observed eight people jumping out of the boat and running to avoid apprehension.

The agents pursued the migrants and apprehended five almost immediately. A search of the immediate area led to the apprehension of the other three, the statement reports.

Agents conducted immigration interviews and identified three of the men as Yemeni nationals. The other five came to the U.S. from Mexico, officials stated.

Border Patrol officials reported the eight men ranged in age from 19 to 36. They were all illegally present in the United States.

“The collaboration and effectiveness of our maritime partnerships is well illustrated by this smuggling incident,” San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said in a written statement.  “Additionally, inclement weather conditions and approaching storms increase the dangers of maritime smuggling at sea.”

The sector chief added, “This was an outstanding collaborative effort with all of our partners from the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM).”

A few days earlier, Agents patrolling near Mission Bay observed suspicious behavior on a Cabin Cruiser fishing boat at the Ski Beach launch ramp, Breitbart Texas reported. The agents approached the boat and conducted an immigration interview with the 15 people involved in the operation.

During the interviews, the agents determined ten of the passengers were illegally present in the United States. Further investigation revealed six of the people were human smugglers attempting to move the other nine migrants into the U.S. via their watercraft.

On February 3, another maritime human smuggling incident ended tragically when one of the seven migrants died after their boat capsized. Another migrant was listed in grave condition at a local hospital.

“We are saddened by the loss of life,” Chief Heitke stated. “The smuggling of humans puts its victims in dangerous and harsh conditions and maritime smuggling is especially dangerous, as we saw in this incident.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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