ReCom’s Air, Land, and Sea Collaboration Squelches Smuggling Attempt at the Border
SAN DIEGO – A three-way collaboration on the land, the sea, and in the air brought the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) the results needed to prevent an attempted maritime smuggling event in the wee hours of 02/21/2020.
When the Joint Harbor Operation Center (JHOC) observed a suspicious vessel entering the U.S. through the dense fog at approximately 1:15 AM, an alert went out to the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).
USBP Agents manning additional surveillance equipment detected the vessel. Deployed agents swooped in via land, sea, and air to quickly respond to the area as the small boat was beached north of Coronado State Beach.
As eight people disembarked and made a run for it, USBP agents immediately pursued and apprehended five men, then found three more hiding nearby. Another attempt at smuggling was effectively squelched by an integration of ReCom’s sophisticated technology and teamwork.
Air and Marine Operations seized the small vessel. The five Mexican and three Yemeni nationals, ranging in age from 19 to 36 years, were determined to be in the country illegally.
“The collaboration and effectiveness of our maritime partnerships is well illustrated by this smuggling incident,” said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke. “Additionally, inclement weather conditions and approaching storms increase the dangers of maritime smuggling at sea.” Chief Heitke added, “This was an outstanding collaborative effort with all of our partners from ReCoM.”
Anyone who has information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California is urged to immediately call 911, to be directed through the proper border security channels.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.