SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KOLD News 13) - Saturday, at approximately 9:30 p.m., San Diego’s Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) partners intercepted a over-loaded pleasure craft with 19 people onboard.
The 16-foot vessel was discovered during a routine U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) maritime patrol approximately four miles south of Point Loma, Calif. The pleasure craft yielded to USCG and 19 people were escorted to Ballast Point and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents.
The group consisted of 14 adult males, four adult women, and a 15-year-old child. All were found to be Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S. They were arrested and taken to a nearby station for processing.
At the station, agents conducted records check on each person and discovered that a 39-year-old man in the group had been convicted for rape in 2006 in Oregon and served a 75-month prison term.
With his new arrest on Saturday, the convicted criminal now faces Federal charges for illegal re-entry after deportation. Two others in the group also had a record for prior illegal entry and face Federal charges for their illegal re-entry. The remaining 16 people in the group were deported to Mexico.
“The collaboration among our ReCoM partners has been instrumental in stopping these maritime attempts. This was an outstanding effort by all involved,” said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke.
If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the California coastline, please call the Maritime Coordination Center (MCC) at 1-562-283-7820 or notify local law enforcement by dialing 9-1-1.