Saturday, September 30, 2023

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Foil Maritime Smuggling Attempt at Coronado Beach

Source: U.S. Customs & Border Protection

An Air and Marine Operations Marine Interdiction Agent conducts a maritime patrol while another crewmember keeps an eye out for suspicious activity near San Diego. Photo: U.S. Customs & Border Protection

On Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol Agents arrested a group of eight migrants that included three undocumented non-citizens with criminal history as they attempted to land on the beach in Coronado.

The event occurred on August 2, at approximately 4:25 am, when agents spotted the blacked-out pleasure craft traveling north along the coast from Mexican waters. As the vessel continued to travel north, Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents in a CBP interceptor vessel approached the vessel, at which time the operator attempted to evade at a high rate of speed. The vessel continued to travel north along the coast, passing the Naval Training Center and into the surf just west of the Hotel del Coronado.

Marine Interdiction Agents test the capabilities of AMO’s Coastal Interceptor Vessel. Photographer: Carolos Rivera, courtesy U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

At approximately 5 am, the vessel landed on Coronado Beach, where eight people jumped from the vessel and began running north. Agents responded to the scene and arrested all eight migrants.

“Smugglers only care about making money and are willing to bring anyone into our communities regardless of their criminal past.” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Additionally, they continue to use these dangerous tactics in their efforts to get their commodity, be it drugs or people into the United States. Maritime smuggling not only endangers the people being smuggled, but also our agents who often selflessly go into the surf to rescue them.”

The group, all adults, consisted of six Mexican males, one Mexican female and one Guatemalan female. Record checks revealed that among the smuggled migrants were a documented gang member, a previously convicted sex offender, and a subject with prior drug convictions.

All eight undocumented non-citizens are in U.S. Border Patrol custody and are being processed accordingly.

The vessel was seized by AMO.

Source: U.S. Customs & Border Protection



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]