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16 suspected illegal immigrants intercepted on boat in Newport Harbor

October 19, 2012 | 10:50 am

Illegal immigrantsOrange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol deputies intercepted a boat entering Newport Harbor on Thursday afternoon and found 16 suspected illegal immigrants onboard.

Harbor Patrol dispatcher Brian Stanley said deputies saw the boat coming into the harbor near the "8" marker about 4:38 p.m. Five women and 11 men were found on the boat, and deputies called the Border Patrol for assistance.

As of about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Stanley said, Border Patrol agents were investigating the situation. Agent Larry Geraldson from the agency's San Clemente station said he didn't have specific details on the incident, but typically agents first interview people suspected of crossing into the country illegally, then conduct further investigation, the Daily Pilot reported.

Jake Parks, a 15-year-old Newport Beach resident, said he noticed a commotion over the harbor as he was coming back from water polo shortly after the incident.

He said he saw a few helicopters hovering over the harbor.

Stanley said the choppers were likely news helicopters — no sheriff's department or Border Patrol helicopters were dispatched.

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-- Jill Cowan, Times Community News

Photo: Sixteen people were taken into custody in Newport Harbor on Thursday on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. Photo credit: KTLA-TV

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