San Diego Border Patrol intercepts two boats illegally bound for U.S.
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U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials have announced the interception of two boats illegally bound for the U.S. within a span of 24 hours.
The first was around 1:30 AM on June 10. The San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) radioed Border Patrol’s Air and Marine Operations Division (AMO) about a boat traveling from Mexican waters into U.S. waters.
AMO deployed an enforcement aircraft to the area and was able to locate the boat, traveling with no lights and multiple people aboard. Aircraft crew then dispatched a coastal interceptor boat to make contact.
When the interceptor reached the encroaching boat, just west of Coronado, the crew was able to confirm there were no lights aboard and also that the entire hull had been spray-painted black.
The boat and its occupants — of which there were ten, all Mexican citizens between the ages of 18 and 55 — were directed to shore. Border Patrol agents took custody of the occupants and began the process of returning them to Mexico.
The boat was seized by marine interdiction agents.
Then, around 8 PM on the same day, an enforcement aircraft began tracking a second boat heading northbound from Mexican waters.
The craft tracked the boat for about 3½ hours before handing off to another craft, which followed the boat for another three hours until marine interdiction agents intercepted it off the shore of Point Loma.
The boat’s occupants, of which there were 25, were identified as eighteen men between the ages of 18 and 66, six women between the ages of 20 and 47, and a 15-year-old boy. Authorities say the captain of the boat will face federal charges.