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16 in custody in possible smuggling attempt off La Jolla coast

Posted at 10:55 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 15:13:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Over a dozen people were taken into custody early Thursday morning after they were apparently dropped off in the water off the San Diego coast in a possible smuggling attempt, federal authorities said.

According to Customs and Border Protection officials, Border Patrol agents were alerted of a possible maritime smuggling attempt at around 1:40 a.m. after a panga boat was seen in the water about 15 miles west of Sunset Cliffs.

Nearly three hours later, Border Patrol agents spotted 12 men and four women on the shore after they were apparently dropped off in the La Jolla area, near the Scripps Pier.

CBP officials said the 16 Mexican nationals were “unlawfully present” in the U.S. and taken into custody.

The incident remains under investigation, CBP officials noted.