SAN DIEGO — Border Patrol agents arrested 28 people after discovering two suspected smuggling boats off San Diego’s coast within hours of each other, authorities said.
Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, agents were told about a “suspicious vessel” near Coronado in San Diego Bay. Agents found 11 people onboard who had illegally entered the U.S, agent Jeff Stephenson said in a news release. Agents took the nine Mexican citizens, one Guatemalan citizen and one Salvadoran citizen to a Border Patrol station and processed them for removal.
Seven hours later, shortly after midnight on Monday, the Coast Guard notified Customs and Border Protection agents about a vessel off the coast of downtown San Diego. Agents met the vessel at Shelter Island and found that 14 people onboard had illegally entered the country, Stephenson said. Nearby, agents found three people with a white pickup truck and a boat trailer, determined to be the pickup crew for the group, according to Stephenson. Agents arrested the three U.S. citizens on smuggling charges and processed the 12 Mexican citizens and two Guatamelan citizens for removal.