15 arrested at Ski Beach ramp, accused of maritime smuggling

Fifteen people were arrested Saturday afternoon at the Ski Beach boat launch ramp in Mission Bay after agents saw the group rapidly exit the vessel and start to get into three separate vehicles. Border Patrol officials said this SUV was trying to pull the boat from the water when agents arrived.
(U.S. Border Patrol )

U.S. Border Patrol officials said agents saw a group of people get off a boat at the launch ramp in Mission Bay on Saturday and hurry toward three ‘getaway vehicles’

FEB. 18, 2020 4:01 PM

SAN DIEGO — Border Patrol agents said they arrested 14 men and one woman in connection with a suspected human-smuggling operation Saturday after a boat pulled up to the Ski Beach launch ramp in Mission Bay and members of the group hurried toward nearby vehicles.

The incident began around 2 p.m. when agents came upon the boat at the Ski Beach ramp, Border Patrol officials said. As agents approached, people exited the boat and started to get into the three nearby vehicles but were stopped.

Agents arrested 15 people and determined that six were suspected smugglers, according to a Border Patrol statement.

Nine men, all Mexican nationals between the ages of 27 and 41, admitted to being in the country without authorization, officials said. Six people were arrested on suspicion of human smuggling, including a 46-year-old Mexican national who told investigators he was the boat’s captain.

The other five arrested are U.S. citizens and include a 25-year-old woman and four men ranging in age from 20 to 30 years old.

The boat and the three vehicles were seized, the Border Patrol said.