U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a sexual offender and stopped a maritime smuggling attempt this past weekend. Photo courtesy USBP

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a sexual offender and stopped a maritime smuggling attempt during the July 4 weekend holiday.

The first event occurred Saturday around 12:30 a.m. in East County San Diego, when agents spotted a man about six miles north of the U.S./Mexico International Boundary.  Agents detained the suspect and questioned him.  He was identified as a 53-year-old Honduran national who had no documentation that allowed him to legally remain in the U.S.  Agents arrested the man and transported him to a nearby station for processing.

At the station, agents ran record checks, which revealed the man had a criminal conviction out of New Hampshire for Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault against a child.  The man had been sentenced six to 12 years in November 2008 and was removed from the U.S. in November 2015.  The man will be processed for illegal re-entry after removal.

The second event began Sunday at around 6:40 p.m., when a U.S. Coast Guard cutter encountered a pleasure-craft vessel operating near Point Loma.  The Coast Guard cutter intercepted the vessel and observed one visible person on board.

Boarding the vessel, USCG personnel found an additional 12 people.  All onboard were suspected of attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and were transported to the USCG base on North Harbor Drive, San Diego.  USBP agents then took custody of all 13 individuals.

The maritime group included nine Mexican national males between the ages of 18 and 51 and two Mexican national females, ages 24 and 36.  Also present were one male Salvadoran national, age 40, and a 20-year-old female Salvadoran national.  All 13 admitted to entering the U.S. illegally and were transported to a nearby Border Patrol station for processing.  Out of the 13, one individual faces Federal charges for human-smuggling.

In addition to these two events, San Diego Sector agents overall arrested 530 people who tried to cross the border illegally during the extended July 4 holiday weekend.

To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the Department of Homeland Security maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from the Nation’s borders.  To report suspicious land activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.  To report suspicious maritime activity along the California Coast, please call 9-1-1 to be directed through the proper channels.

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