The level of maritime smuggling activity has increased significantly, reaching record levels along the Southern and Central California coast this summer, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In addition to the increase in the number of incidents, the authorities report the smugglers have become more brazen and moved further north along the coast in an effort to avoid detection.
During July, the joint operations of CBP and its Air and Marine Operations, U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security, and U.S. Border Patrol reported responding to 12 smuggling incidents ranging from Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties. These smuggling attempts along the coastline of Palos Verdes, Long Beach, San Pedro, Malibu, Newport Beach, and the first-ever landing on Santa Catalina Island, resulted in the apprehension of 90 undocumented individuals. While most were adult males of diverse nationalities, CBP reports that females and teenagers were also among those apprehended. Read on.