FAIL: Human Smugglers Paint Boat Black for Nighttime Op Off California Coast

CBP Air and Marine Operations agents interdict an off-shore human smuggling attempt near the California shore. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Air and Marine Operations)
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Air and Marine Operations

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations agents teamed up to interdict a human smuggling attempt off the coast of California. The smugglers spray painted their boat black in a failed effort to avoid the attention of law enforcement.

Shortly after midnight on June 10, the San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center contacted Air and Marine Operations (AMO) about a boat they detected off the coast moving from Mexic toward U.S. waters, according to information obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. AMO dispatched a multi-role enforcement aircraft to locate the boat.

A brief search led the airborne agents to the boat’s location where they observed the boat moving with no lights. Electronic surveillance equipment onboard the aircraft enabled the agents to detect multiple people on the small craft.

The aircrew directed an AMO coastal interceptor boat to the location of the suspected human smugglers.

As the AMO marine unit approached the boat off the coast of Coronado, California, they observed an open-hull pleasure boat moving without lights. The AMO crew noticed the smugglers apparently spray painted the hull black in an effort to avoid detection.

The agents on the AMO boat found ten illegal aliens on board the smuggler’s boat. The migrants admitted to agents that they were attempting to illegally enter the United States.

The AMO agents brought the boat and the ten people back to the dock where they met ground-based Border Patrol agents who took custody of the illegal aliens.

Border Patrol agents identified all ten as Mexican men between the ages of 18 and 35. Under Title 42 coronavirus protection protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agents cleared the Mexican men medically and conducted a criminal background investigation before removing them to Mexico.

AMO agents seized the boat.

“It’s dangerous to travel on a crowded boat, out at sea, with no lights, and these smugglers took the added step of spray-painting the hull black so they would be difficult to spot at night,” Christopher Hunter, Deputy Director of Marine Operations for CBP in San Diego said in a written statement. “Smuggling organizations aren’t considering anyone’s safety when these make these illegal attempts, only what profits they can try to make.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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