CORONADO, Calif. – Eight people were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and attempted drug smuggling, authorities said.
The incident happened around 4:25 a.m. when Border Patrol agents spotted a vessel on the water heading north from the Mexican side of the Pacific Ocean, said U.S. Customs and Border Protections spokesperson Tekae Michael.
An interceptor vessel with Air and Marine Operations stepped in and attempted to stop the small boat. At that time, authorities said the group attempted to evade agents by speeding up, eventually passing the Naval Training Center and Hotel Del Coronado.
The vessel landed at Coronado Beach around 5 a.m. and the eight individuals attempted to flee the scene on foot. Agents were able to successfully capture the group and subsequently placed them under arrest.
Michael said in a release sent Wednesday afternoon that all eight individuals are considered to have been entering the U.S. illegally and each has prior convictions ranging from sexual offenses to gang-related charges.
The group, consisting of six men and two women, are all in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol and will be processed accordingly, officials said.