Federal authorities announced that 21 people were arrested this week following a maritime human smuggling attempt in Imperial Beach.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) reported a panga at the south end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach at about 3:30 a.m. Monday. JHOC later reported to CBP that a “large number” of people fled the boat and ran toward Seacoast Drive while others ran south toward the Tijuana River Valley.
Shortly after arriving at the scene, CBP located 13 people near the intersection of Seacoast Drive and Encanto Avenue and agents found eight more individuals near the intersection of Seacoast Drive and Cortez Avenue.
After the 21 individuals were questioned, federal authorities determined they had entered the U.S. illegally and were subsequently arrested. Among the group were 14 Mexican men, six Mexican women and a Guatemalan woman. All migrants were taken to a Border Patrol station for processing, according to CBP.
Two men in the group are facing charges that include human smuggling, authorities said. No injuries were immediately reported.