14 Arrests in Huntington Beach Panga Boat Discovery | NBC Southern California

14 Arrests in Huntington Beach Panga Boat Discovery

Customs officials have detained 14 people suspected of using fishing boat to enter the U.S.



    Authorities have seen a rise in the number of panga boats being found further up the Southern California coast as smugglers attempt to thwart beefed up security at the U.S.-Mexican border. (Published Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012)

    Fourteen people have been arrested, suspected of getting off of a Mexican fishing boat that washed onto the sand in Huntington Beach, federal customs officials said on Thursday.

    Officials found the boat, called a panga, on the beach off Pacific Coast Highway near Goldenwest Street.

    Suspected Illegal Immigrants Towed to Shore: Raw Video

    [DGO] Suspected Illegal Immigrants Towed to Shore: Raw Video
    A panga boat filled with more than a dozen people, believed to be illegal immigrants, was towed to shore. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011)

    Fourteen suspected illegal immigrants who got off the boat were arrested and taken to a holding station in San Clemente.

    Details were not immediately available.

    Panga Boat Seized in Carlsbad: Raw Video

    [DGO] Panga Boat Seized in Carlsbad: Raw Video
    The Carlsbad police department got a call around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday reporting a boat on the sand near Tamarack and Carlsbad Boulevard. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011)

    The news comes as Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officials found on Wednesday a panga - with up to 20 life vests, but no people - near Montecito.

    On Saturday, officials reported a panga with up to 1,500 pounds of marijuana washing ashore in an area of Malibu known as “Smuggler’s Cove.”

    Three men were arrested in connection with the discovery.

    Authorities have seen a jump in recent years in the number of so-called maritime smuggling incidents further north along Southern California's coast as the perpetrators try to evade stepped up enforcement along the U.S.-Mexican border.

    So far in fiscal 2012, authorities have recorded at least 10 such incidents in Southern California, including at least two in Ventura County and at least one in Santa Barbara County.

    There were 26 incidents for all of fiscal 2011; nine in fiscal 2010; and two in 2009.

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