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Human-smuggling boat stopped off Seal Beach

Seal Beach (3)

Authorities have intercepted a boat in Seal Beach that was allegedly being used to smuggle people into the United States.

A crew at the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach stopped the 24-foot Bayliner about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday as it entered a restricted area at the harbor, said Michael Jimenez, a spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department's Harbor Patrol responded and detained the boat's 10 occupants --the captain, who is a U.S. citizen, and one female and eight male Mexican nationals. The Sheriff's Department then alerted the Border Patrol.

Agents arrested the boat captain, a 46-year-old man whose name was not released, on suspicion of alien smuggling, Jimenez said. The occupants of the boat were detained.

The operation was a joint operation by local and federal agencies participating in the Central California Maritime Agency Coordination Group, a newly created multiagency effort to crack down on smuggling.

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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: Boat intercepted in Seal Beach. Credit: U.S. Border Patrol

 
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