San Diego — U.S. Border Patrol agents thwarted a human maritime smuggling attempt and arrested a male U.S. citizen and his female passenger early Thursday morning.
At about 12 a.m., Border Patrol agents were alerted by members of the California National Guard’s Counterdrug program working in support of Customs and Border Protection regarding a Zodiac boat with no running lights approximately two miles west of the Imperial Beach pier. Border Patrol agents aboard a vessel from the Border Search Trauma and Rescue unit approached the inflatable boat and performed an immigration inspection. Agents determined that the vessel operator was a 38-year-old male United States citizen. His 22 year-old-female passenger was a Honduran citizen who had entered the U.S. illegally through the maritime domain.
The two individuals were transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing and further investigation. The male U.S. citizen is being held in Department of Homeland Security custody and faces criminal charges for alien smuggling. The female Honduran citizen is being processed for formal deportation. The boat was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.
If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of Southern California, please contact the Sector San Diego U.S. Coast Guard Joint Harbor Operations Center at (800) 854-9834.
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 keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.