Ten people were detained today when a fishing boat being used for human smuggling was intercepted off the Orange County coast by sheriffs deputies assisting a federal operation, authorities said.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department's Harbor Patrol was tipped off about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday that a smuggling boat would be off the coast, a member of the Seal Beach Police Department told a camera crew at the scene. The boat and 10 people on board were detained around midnight near Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, he said, adding that the 30-foot fishing boat featured sleeping quarters.
"Orange County Sheriff's Department Harbor Patrol assisted in a federal case involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection," said Sgt. John Whitman, the watch commander of the county Sheriff's Department's Harbor Patrol.
At the scene this morning were Immigration and Naturalization Service agents, Border Patrol agents, sheriff's deputies and officers from the Seal Beach and Cypress police departments.
—City News Service