9 in custody on suspicion of entering U.S. illegally through Newport Dunes boat ramp

Two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Nine were taken into custody on Sunday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on suspicion of entering the country illegally via a boat ramp at Newport Dunes.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Nine Mexican nationals were taken into custody in Newport Beach on Sunday on suspicion of entering the country illegally.

The nine, which includes seven men, one woman and one unaccompanied 13-year-old boy, were allegedly dropped off by a pleasure craft at the Newport Dunes boat ramp. They were taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agents at around 5:30 p.m.

Authorities said the U.S. Border Patrol took custody of the nine, but officials did not immediately respond to inquiries as to where they are currently located. The incident is being investigated by the ICE HSI Los Angeles Border Enforcement Security Task Force.

That same day, another smuggling attempt in San Diego left three dead when the boat carrying them capsized along a reef at Point Loma. Of the 32 people that were on board, 29 survived. All those aboard were Mexican nationals, save for two — one was from Guatemala and the captain is a U.S. citizen.

Among the passengers was an unaccompanied 15-year-old boy, 21 men and six women from the ages of 18 to 39, according to officials.

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