A 48-year-old Mexican man who spent time in a California prison after a rape conviction was among those captured by the U.S. Coast Guard over the weekend, officials said.
At about 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, the Coast Guard stopped a small pleasure craft that had allegedly entered U.S. waters, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. The boat was then towed to the Mission Bay Lifeguard Center, where USBP agents were waiting for the craft when it arrived.
Border Patrol officers then questioned the 11 men and four women found on board and determined they were all Mexican nationals. It was later discovered that one of the men had served three years in a state prison for rape. That man was referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for re-entering the U.S. illegally after being deported.
"I am grateful for the diligence of all involved parties," Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a news release that came out Tuesday afternoon. "Our communities are now safer thanks to their efforts."
The other 14 people found on the boat were all been sent back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol.