On August 25, 2019, at approximately 9:15 pm, Border Patrol Agents working near the city of Coronado, received a phone call from the Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) reporting an unknown vessel traveling northbound from the United States/Mexico border in close proximity to the shoreline. Sometime after, the JHOC camera operator then reportedly observed the vessel move eastbound until the vessel beached in the surf along the Coronado shoreline north of Hotel del Coronado lifeguard tower.
Border Patrol Agents responded to the vessel’s location where they observed several people disembarking the vessel. There were seven people in total who had been aboard the vessel. Of the subjects arrested, six were adult Mexican males and one adult Mexican female. All subjects were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing. One individual was charged for alien smuggling.
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent
Public Affairs Office, San Diego Sector
If the public has information about maritime smuggling or sees suspicious activity along the coast of Southern California, please contact the Sector San Diego U.S. Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center at 911. We appreciate the support of DHS’s campaign of, “If You See Something, Say Something,” which engages the public in protecting our homeland through awareness-building, partnerships, and other outreach.
As the border has become more secure through the utilization of the right combination of personnel, technology and infrastructure, transnational criminal organization have attempted to circumvent this security by smuggling in the maritime environment. The Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) was created to address this threat.
This includes Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Coast Guard, and other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Each of these agencies has a responsibility within the maritime or coastal domain and work collaboratively to address these responsibilities.
Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) have no regard for the lives of the people they smuggle, and this tactic is extremely dangerous. Smugglers often overcrowd small, open vessels, and in the cases where personal flotation devices are provided, they are often unsafe and insufficient. Unpredictable sea and surf conditions, visibility, and weather are not important considerations to smugglers. TCOs put an emphasis on profits over their victims’ safety by placing them in unpredictable and unsafe conditions.