Smuggling Operation Stopped on the Salton Sea

Smuggling Operation Stopped on the Salton Sea

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El Centro, CA – Early Thursday morning, El Centro Sector Border Patrol reports they successfully stopped a smuggling operation on the Salton Sea.

Border Patrol Agents on patrol observed a Zodiac style inflatable boat with multiple passengers traveling north on the Salton Sea.  The boat operator docked the boat along the shore near Mecca, California.  Moments after docking, a smuggler driving a Ford F-150 pick-up truck picked up the 10 passengers from the boat and attempted to drive out of the area.  Agents stopped the driver of the vehicle and determined that the 10 passengers were in the country illegally.  Eight of the passengers are citizens of Mexico and two are citizens of El Salvador.  

The driver of the truck, a 45-year-old man lawfully admitted permanent resident, was arrested on suspicion of alien smuggling.  El Centro Sector Border Patrol Agents also arrested a 45-year-old man, an illegal alien from Mexico, for operating the boat on suspicion of alien smuggling.  

All 12 people involved are in Border Patrol custody pending further investigation.  The Border Patrol seized the pick-up truck and boat. 

The El Centro Border Patrol's "See Something, Say Something" Campaign is designed to increase the safety and welfare of the Imperial Valley by bringing public awareness to the indicators of crime and other threats.  The Border Patrol says the public plays a key role keeping our country safe by identifying and reporting suspicious or criminal activity.  Imperial Valley residents can report any suspicious activity to the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.

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