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Suspected illegal immigrants found near boat in Huntington Beach

February 2, 2012 | 12:05 pm

Border Patrol agents took 14 suspected illegal immigrants into custody Thursday morning after a boat they were smuggled in landed on Huntington Beach, authorities said.

Agents were called out to a "maritime smuggling event" around 5 a.m. Thursday, said Border Patrol Agent Jose Velasquez. The individuals were smuggled in a panga-style vessel with a Yamaha 200 horse-power engine, Velasquez said.

Border Patrol officials are still investigating the incident and are looking into which of the passengers was the smuggler.

The event is a "prime example of smugglers attempting to circumvent the success" the Border Patrol has achieved along the land border, Velasquez said, though he warns that the method is just as dangerous.

The vessels are often times packed and taken quite a few miles away from shore, Velasquez said. Safety equipment, if any, may be inadequate.

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-- Dalina Castellanos

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