SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations personnel interdicted a vessel suspected of human smuggling off the coast of Malibu yesterday morning.
While on a routine patrol, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin detected a 41-foot pleasure craft operating 16 miles off the Malibu coast at 4:16 p.m.
Personnel at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles - Long Beach diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut, launched a small boat from Station Los Angeles - Long Beach, and requested surface and air assets from AMO and CBP's Office of Field Operations Special Enforcement Group to investigate.
The law enforcement teams arrived on the scene and detained 23 undocumented non-citizens attempting to enter the country illegally. AMO took the vessel in tow and transported the vessel and people onboard to shore for further processing by SEG officers. AMO seized the suspected smuggling vessel.
"This case is a prime example of the exceptional cooperation and working relationships we have with partner agencies such as CBP and AMO," says Cmdr. Keith Robinson, chief of law enforcement at Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles - Long Beach. "These overloaded vessels are inherently dangerous, and our extensive partnerships in the area are essential to keeping boaters safe and enforcing the nation's customs and immigration laws."