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California Briefing / SAN DIEGO

Boat with illegal immigrants seized

September 24, 2008|Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Federal agents Tuesday seized a 26-foot boat off the coast carrying 22 illegal Mexican immigrants.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the fishing boat at 3:30 a.m. about a mile west of city-owned Torrey Pines Golf Course, officials said in a news release.

Agents fired two warning shots before the boat's operator surrendered, but no one was injured, officials said. Sixteen men and six women from Mexico were aboard the boat, all wearing life vests and in good condition. Investigators later determined they were in U.S. waters illegally.

Agents seized the boat, which did not have any registration markings, and held two of the men for possible criminal prosecution.

Three of the other men will remain in the U.S. as witnesses, and the others on board were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for possible return to Mexico, officials said.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

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