Border Patrol agents working in coordination federal agency partners arrested 18 people in two separate maritime smuggling events on Thursday.
The first incident occurred at 1:20 a.m. when Air and Marine Operations agents detected a boat traveling with its lights out several miles offshore. The Coast Guard intercepted the vessel shortly afterward.
Seven men and one woman, all Mexican nationals, were were transferred to the Border Patrol for processing.
The second incident occurred at 3:45 a.m., when a panga boat was spotted six miles south of Point Loma. A Coast Guard fast response cutter intercepted the boat around 5 a.m.
Agents found nine Mexicans and one Guatemalan aboard this vessel. Two of the men on the boat were identified as suspected human smugglers.
The Border Patrol has reported an increase in maritime smuggling events following improvements to the border wall system in the San Diego area.
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