Abandoned marijuana smuggling boat
The marijuana smuggling boat abandoned on Saturday. Courtesy CBP

U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel and partner agencies arrested 57 people and seized $3 million worth of marijuana in seven different maritime smuggling incidents since Friday.

The seven incidents, detailed by DHS officials on Tuesday, were:

  • 5 p.m. Friday –A suspicious 28-foot sailboat was spotted heading north across the maritime boundary line. A Coast Guard vessel responded and found 12 Mexican migrants, who were turned over to the Border Patrol.
  • 11 a.m. Saturday — A suspicious vessel was spotted off Coronado and later docked at the ferry landing. Border Patrol agents were dispatched and arrested 13 people, two of whom were U.S. citizens charged with human smuggling.
  • 1:45 p.m. Saturday — A patrol encountered a 20-foot cuddy-cabin vessel approximately three nautical miles off Oceanside. The boat was visibly overloaded, and agents found 12 Mexican migrants on board.
  • 2 p.m. Saturday — Agents received a report of an abandoned boat near Point Loma. They found 779 pounds of marijuana aboard with a street value of $3.1 million.
  • 4 p.m. Saturday — A Coast Guard cutter began chasing a vessel of interest 12 nautical miles off Torrey Pines State Park. A second Coast Guard unit stopped the 29-foot, cuddy-cabin vessel and found 18 Mexicans, one Guatemalan, and one El Salvadorian aboard.
  • 8:25 a.m. Monday — A small boat arrived at the dingy dock near Hawthorne Street and Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. Ten unidentified people left the boat and entered a waiting vehicle, but agents were unable to stop them.
  • 10 a.m. Monday — Park rangers found an abandoned pleasure craft at Torrey Pines State Beach. Seven life jackets were found aboard the vessel.

Seven of the 57 people arrested were identified as suspected smugglers and face associated charges.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.