In light of several recent deadly attempts to cross the US-Mexico border into San Diego County, the US Border Patrol and other agencies are stepping up their land, sea and air patrols over the busy July 4 weekend to intercept smuggling attempts, the agency mentioned.
The USBP said officers would be stationed on land, in boats on the water, and in helicopters and planes to patrol the waters off the San Diego coast.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as several local law enforcement agencies, will also participate in the effort. Additional resources will be allocated at least until July 6, the U.S. Border Patrol said.
The Coast Guard search was called off Monday morning, but the cleanup of debris from the 40-foot boat was still being collected, NBC 7’s Allison Ash reported.
The police have already intercepted during the fiscal year 222 attempts to enter the United States by sea, resulting in more than 1,300 arrests, said the US Border Patrol. The number has already exceeded all maritime arrests for fiscal 2020.
At least 23 people died in attempted human trafficking in the San Diego Border Patrol area during the exercise, the agency said.
Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman pleaded with those considering joining a smuggling attempt in June.
âToday we appeal to anyone considering a desperate and perilous journey to the United States – whether by boat, on foot, or in the trunk of a car – don’t do it. life in the hands of smugglers. It’s not worth it. “
On May 2, an accident off Point Loma killed three migrants and injured dozens more. An affidavit indicates that the migrants paid between $ 15,000 and $ 18,500 to be smuggled into the United States. The man accused of piloting the boat has been charged with two dozen counts in connection with the attempted smuggling.
Weeks later, one person died and eight others were hospitalized when several people jumped from a panga in rough waters off La Jolla. The failed smuggling attempt was reportedly led by two men who were charged in early June.
On earth, attempts to smuggle human beings have proved to be just as catastrophic. On March 2, dozens of migrants were brought to the United States near Calexico in an SUV which then crashed and killed 13 people. The man suspected of bringing Mexican and Guatemalan nationals to the United States was charged in March.
There are dangers even for those attempting to cross on foot, according to the USBP. On Sunday, a 46-year-old man who crossed the border near Mount Otay in 104-degree heat was found in medical distress, USBP said. Officers walked up to the man and airlifted him to rescue him.
There have been at least 27 border patrol rescues in the San Diego area this year, including 12 heat-related, the USBP said. USBP says they are also often called upon to deal with lost or abandoned migrants.
US Attorney Grossman could not explain the cause of the increase, but acknowledged that smuggling is a profitable business with dangerous consequences. The police are committed to putting an end to it.
reDownload our NBC 7 mobile app for iOS or Android to get the latest San Diego early warning weather and breaking news.