13 People Detained in Suspected Human Smuggling Attempt by Sea in Coronado - NBC 7 San Diego

13 People Detained in Suspected Human Smuggling Attempt by Sea in Coronado

Agents noticed a suspicious boat off the coast of Coronado on Saturday and went to the nearby Ferry Landing docks to intercept the vessel

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    Suspected Human Smuggling Attempt Intercepted in Coronado

    Over a dozen people were arrested in a suspected human smuggling operation. NBC 7's Erika Cervantes reports.

    (Published Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019)

    Customs and Border Protection confirmed 13 people were taken into custody after agents intercepted a suspicious boat docking at the Ferry Landing in Coronado, according to Border Patrol agent Theron Francisco.

    "This was strictly an alien smuggling event," agent Francisco said.

    Air and Marine Operations noticed a boat off the coast of Coronado around 11 a.m. on Saturday and went to the Ferry Landing to intercept the vessel as it docked, according to agent Theron Francisco.

    "It was pretty much just a family-style boat, trying to use to blend into the area here nearby," Francisco told NBC 7.

    13 People Taken Into Custody After Human Smuggling Boat Discovered in Coronado

    [DGO] 13 People Taken Into Custody After Human Smuggling Boat Discovered in Coronado

    Eight of those 13 were reportedly trying to enter the country on a family-style pleasure craft. NBC 7's Erika Cervantes is live in Coronado.

    (Published Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019)

    Agents watched people get off the 21-foot boat and begin walking toward cars waiting to pick them up. At that point, CBP agents stopped and arrested over a dozen people. 

    All 13 people involved were taken into custody for further processing.

    Of those, CBP confirmed eight people were trying to enter the country. Five suspected human smugglers, two on the boat and three inside the awaiting vehicles, were also detained and will face charges, Francisco confirmed.

    "The eight here illegally will be processed for removal proceedings and depending on their individual criminal histories, they may have additional charges brought upon that," Francisco said.

    "We don't exactly know right now if they're all Mexican nationals," he added.

    Agent Theron Francisco reported there was one child on the boat.

    Air and Marine Operations seized the boat and did not find any narcotics.

    Around noon on Saturday, bystanders including an NBC 7 assignment editor reported a group of people handcuffed and sitting on the ground in Coronado surrounded by U.S. Border Patrol and peace officers.

    No injuries were reported.

    No other information was available.

    Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

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