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2 Mexican citizens indicted in boat capsizing deaths off Torrey Pines

January 29, 2010 |  8:32 am

Two Mexican nationals have been indicted on charges that could result in life in prison or the death penalty for the drowning deaths of two suspected illegal immigrants who were in a smuggling boat that capsized near Torrey Pines State Beach.

 A federal grand jury in San Diego delivered a 30-count indictment against Fernando Figueroa-Rodriguez, 50, and Javier Jimenez-Yucupio, 45, the U.S. attorney's office announced Thursday.

At least 16 people from Mexico and Guatemala were aboard a small boat that capsized in the early morning hours of Jan. 16, officials said. Eight of the 16 are being held as potential witnesses.

The two defendants are charged with bringing illegal immigrants into the U.S. in a manner that caused death. As the U.S. Border Patrol has increased surveillance along the border, more smugglers are using boats to haul passengers and drugs onto the beaches of San Diego County.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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