(KGTV) — Border officials say 19 people were arrested after a panga boat was intercepted off the coast of Dana Point in Orange County on Friday.
Crews say just before 1 a.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials spotted a single-engine panga boat traveling out of Mexican waters with no lights and with multiple people on board. The boat was monitored moving north, until about 3:30 .m., when CBP officials directed San Diego units to the boat's location about 11 nautical miles west of Dana Point.
Nineteen people, 18 adults males and one adult female who all claimed to be Mexican nationals, were taken into custody, CBP says. They were all turned over to Border Patrol for processing.
“This interception exemplifies the unique air and sea coordination, vigilance and law enforcement capabilities of our highly skilled interdiction agents in keeping our coastal border safe,” Timothy Sutherland, with Marine Operations San Diego Air and Marine Branch, said. “The combination of expertise, technology and training were the key for the success of this operation.”