Van Investigated for Illegal Immigrant Smuggling

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    A panga discovered along San Diego's coast is connected to a van in a smuggling investigation  officials told NBC 7 San Diego.

    The boat was on the beach near Del Mar according to lifeguards. The boat's location is west of the area where officers arrested more than a dozen people earlier Monday.

    San Diego police spotted a van parked near southbound Interstate 5 and Carmel Valley Road around 4:30 a.m.

    Inside the van, investigators found more than a dozen passengers and one driver.

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    Last year, a record 190 teens – ages 18 and under – were caught smuggling drugs along the San Diego County-Mexico border, according to federal investigators. NBC 7's Tony Shin reports. (Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2012)

    The occupants had wet shoes and pants as if they had just gotten out of a boat and loaded into the van officers said.

    Lifeguards have been told not to speak to the media about the abandoned boat on Del Mar's coast.

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    Agents tell NBC 7 reporter Diana Guevara that smugglers have started using personal watercrafts to get drugs across the border. (Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012)

    The case is being handed over to U.S. Border Patrol.

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