By JAESON JONES
On August 24, a video was released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke from the San Diego Sector. The video showed a panga boat landing on the beach in Encinitas, California. Over a dozen people can be seen scrambling into a local neighborhood.
Monday, a panga landed in Encinitas & 13 individuals quickly made their way into the community. #BorderPatrol agents & partners arrested all 13 people, the smugglers, meth, & a “ghost-gun.” Criminals involved in human smuggling also traffic in drugs & firearms. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/CmxFjiNAl8
— Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke (@USBPChiefSDC) August 26, 2020
The video also provides a glimpse on the use of these boats in smuggling and trafficking operations along the California coast. This event also highlights a change in tactics. Normally, smugglers either transport drugs, people, or weapons. Today, it is common to see multiple illicit commodities smuggled at once.
Panga boats–also known as a shark or fishing boats–are used extensively by both smuggling and trafficking organizations in the Gulf of Mexico and on the California coast. The crafts have become more prevalent in recent years due to improvements in land border security.
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