SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Ten people were arrested in a suspected smuggling incident after border officials stopped a boat off the coast of Coronado this week.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agents say a boat was spotted just west of Coronado at about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Agents said the vessel was traveling from Mexican waters into U.S. territory.
A crew was sent out to stop the suspected smuggling boat and 10 people were found aboard. The boat had been traveling without lights on and was spray painted black, according to agents.
The individuals on the boat, all male Mexican citizens ages 18 to 55, were taken back to shore and turned over to Border Patrol, CBP said.
"It’s dangerous to travel on a crowded boat, out at sea, with no lights, and these smugglers took the added step of spray-painting the hull black so they would be difficult to spot at night," said Christopher Hunter, Deputy Director of Marine Operations for CBP in San Diego. "Smuggling organizations aren’t considering anyone’s safety when these make these illegal attempts, only what profits they can try to make."
The 10 men were due to be returned to Mexico, CBP said.