Border Patrol agents arrested three men on the shores of Torrey Pines State Beach on Tuesday attempting to smuggle marijuana into the country.
Two of the Mexican nationals were arrested after their boat washed ashore with over 750 pounds of marijuana near Torrey Pines State Beach. The third was arrested in a van nearby, a press release stated.
At 6:15 a.m., the agents spotted what looked like 32 bundles of marijuana on the boat and became suspicious. When it drifted ashore, agents approached the two men, who were present illegally. Agents found the 32 bundles of marijuana and arrested the men.
Shortly after arresting the two men in the boat, agents spotted a white Chevrolet van loitering suspiciously around Torrey Pines. When they pulled the van over, they arrested the 37-year old Mexican national, who was also illegally present. He is believed to be involved with the boat smugglers.
The three smugglers, their marijuana, their boat and the van were processed and will be investigated by the San Diego Air and Marine Task Force Association.
Border Patrol agents have been watching the coast more closely recently, as security on land has tightened. Tuesday’s attempt was one of several sea smuggling incidents in San Diego this year, says Border Patrol Spokesperson Scott Simon.
“As the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego increases border security on land, transnational criminal organizations are shifting their resources to the maritime domain to include alien and drug smuggling,” Simon says.
There has been one significant maritime drug seizure in each of the past three months along San Diego's coastal boarders.
Community liaisons with the Border Patrol will be in Dana Point and Mission Bay Friday afternoon urging residents to report suspicious activity.
To report suspicious maritime activity, call the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834.