On Friday, United States Border Patrol agents arrested eight adult males on a small boat just north of Coronado State Beach in California. In a press release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stated five of the arrested men were from Mexico while the other three were Yemeni nationals.
On February 21, at approximately 1:15 a.m., the Joint Harbor Operation Center (JHOC) observed a suspicious vessel enter the U.S.
The information was relayed to USBP agents who were operating additional surveillance equipment and were able to detect the vessel in the dense fog. As agents responded to the area, the small boat was beached north of the Coronado State Beach.
Once ashore, eight people disembarked from the boat and ran to avoid agents. USBP agents pursued and apprehended five people immediately and found the three remaining individuals hiding in the immediate area.
There were five Mexican, and three Yemeni nationals. The eight men ranged from 19 to 36 years-of-age. All were determined to be in the country illegally.
"The collaboration and effectiveness of our maritime partnerships is well illustrated by this smuggling incident," San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke said in the statement. "Additionally, inclement weather conditions and approaching storms increase the dangers of maritime smuggling at sea," added Chief Heitke added, "This was an outstanding collaborative effort with all of our partners from the Regional Coordinating Mechanism."
The San Diego Sector has seen an uptick in maritime smuggling activity following the completion of nearby border fencing, according to a CBP official last November.