The PJ Tatler

Keep an Eye Off the Coast for Jet Ski Smuggling, Border Patrol Warns

Considering some of the ways coyotes smuggle human cargo in cramped containers across the sweltering southern border, hopping on a jet ski on the Pacific Ocean seems like a first-class ticket.

The Border Patrol reports that it’s had two cases this week of illegal immigrants using this method to cross into the United States.

But they’ve needed other eyes to alert them to the crossings.

At about 5 a.m. yesterday, the Border Patrol said in a statement, they received an alert from the Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC), which consists of military and San Diego Port Authority police, and “a concerned citizen’s phone call.”

“They both reported a suspicious jet ski, which was heading northbound from Mexico along the coastline near Imperial Beach,” the release said. “JHOC alerted agents that a person had been dropped off near Imperial Beach Boulevard. Agents responded and located a 32-year-old Mexican national man hiding among the rocks on the beach.”

“An immigration inspection revealed that the man was illegally present in the U.S.  He was placed under arrest by agents and transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing.”

On Sunday, a man and a woman were arrested for illegally crossing via jet ski. They were “dropped off near the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado and arrested shortly thereafter.”

In March, three men were picked up by Border Patrol after their jet ski lost control near the Imperial Beach pier. Their group included another jet ski; both turned back toward Mexico after being spotted. They tried to cross after midnight.

In February, a pair of jet skis dropped off four illegal immigrants, one a juvenile, at Coronado Silver Strand State Beach. They were arrested by Border Patrol, but the jet ski operators fled back to Mexico. They tried crossing at about 10 p.m. Another incident on the same beach that month resulted in the arrests of a man and a woman, brought illegally into the country at about 5 a.m. The male had an outstanding warrant out of San Diego County for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The agency asked the public to keep an eye out for suspicious activity along the California coast, and call 911.