15 arrested on smuggling boat spotted off coast of Encinitas

Ten men, five women were found on the boat which was spotted by helicopter and intercepted at sea


Fifteen people suspected of being smuggled into the U.S. by boat were arrested in Oceanside Monday night, Feb. 28, federal officials said.

roof siren
(File photo)

The incident began around 9:15 p.m. when federal agents on an Air and Marine Operations helicopter detected a boat carrying several people traveling north from Mexican territorial waters, officials said.

A U.S. Coast Guard boat was launched to intercept the vessel and caught up to it about a mile north of Grandview Beach in Encinitas around 9:45 p.m., officials said. Officials contacted people on the boat — described as a 30- to 35-foot-long cuddy cabin — and found 10 men and five women on board, according to a statement by the U.S. Border Patrol.

All 15 were determined to be Mexican citizens or nationals and the group was taken to the Oceanside harbor by the Coast Guard, officials said. Agents took custody of the passengers and took them to a nearby Border Patrol station to be processed. The boat was seized by federal agents.