OCEANSIDE–U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested nine Mexican nationals after an interception of a pleasure craft off-shore near Oceanside Thursday morning.
At approximately 7:30 a.m Border Patrol agents were notified that the United States Coast Guard intercepted a pleasure craft with nine people aboard off-shore from Oceanside in an apparent human smuggling attempt. The Coast Guard escorted the pleasure craft to the Oceanside Harbor where they were met by agents.
During interviews, agents discovered that the nine Mexican nationals on-board had entered the United States illegally. Agents also determined that three of the individuals were smugglers and are now facing charges of felony alien smuggling.
Three of the six smuggled in the boat are being held as material witnesses.
The pleasure craft was seized by Air and Marine Operations.
This marks the 64th maritime smuggling event in the San Diego region this fiscal year which began on Oct. 1. In the fiscal year 2020, San Diego Sector Border Patrol experienced 309 maritime smuggling events.
“As a constant reminder to the public, if you see something out of the ordinary near the coast, don’t hesitate to call authorities,” said CPA Aaron M. Heitke. “These vessels are dangerously overloaded and unsafe in the ever-changing ocean conditions. Smugglers exploit migrants and put lives in significant danger for their own profit.”