Human Smugglers Return to Crystal Cove


Suspected human smugglers came ashore at Crystal Cove State Park in the early morning hours of Monday, June 11.

A 20-foot boat was found by lifeguards within park boundaries about 6:30 a.m., said Park Department spokesman Jorge Moreno. Tide charts show low tide ebbed at 2:24 a.m.

Border Patrol agents from San Clemente continue to search for the individuals, who are unaccounted for, and will seize the panga, said department spokesman Ralph A DeSio.

“Transnational criminal organizations show complete disregard for human life when they put monetary gain over the health and safety of the illegal aliens they smuggle,” he said in a statement.

The open-bow, outboard-powered boats usually used as fishing vessels typically are loaded with people or drugs south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Their risky, open-ocean journeys often end at clandestine landings and a rendezvous with waiting vans.

With greater law enforcement efforts across the San Diego border area, smugglers’ eschew overland routes to deliver their cargo. In 2010, five similar incidents involving a Mexican panga boat came ashore on south-county beaches, including a landing on Crystal Cove. Ocean-going smugglers returned to the same shore 2013 when agents arrested nine people and seized 1,200 pounds of marijuana.

Across the southwest region, which includes Arizona and Texas, agents track an significant upswing in the number of people caught making illegal crossings in May, a peak crossing period, according to Border Patrol statistics.

San Diego-based Border Patrol agents so far in 2018 have also apprehended hundreds of people attempting to evade legal entry into the U.S., though total apprehension figures have dropped 19 percent compared to a year ago. Of the 1,996 people seized in the San Diego area, 1,492 were children, a figure 42 percent higher than in 2017, says the Border Patrol website.


Sunday, June 10

Traffic stop. Glenneyre St. 1:17 a.m. Edward Baskaron, 28, of Banning, was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

Traffic stop. Broadway St. 1:28 a.m. A Hemet motorist and his passenger from Moreno Valley were arrested for DUI and drug charges, respectively.

Suspicious person.

Saturday, June 9

Traffic stop. 1500 block of S. Coast Hwy. 12:16 a.m. A 28-year-old Laguna Niguel man was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. Upland St. 1:38 a.m. A 24-year-old Mission Viejo woman was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. Bluebird Canyon Rd. 2:35 a.m. A 22-year-old San Clemente man was cited for DUI.

Trespassing. 200 block of N. Coast Hwy. 5:23 a.m. A 25-year-old Laguna Hills man was cited for trespassing after leaving a hotel property where he allegedly exposed himself to a security guard.

Reckless driving. Diamond St. 7:40 a.m. A motorist who hit a parked car, blew by a stopped sign and failed to yield to police for a time was temporarily detained. The driver, a diabetic, told police he had taken prescribed medication. He was treated and released without charge.

Drunk driving. Moss St. 7:53 a.m. Nicholas Aho, 26, Laguna Niguel, was arrested for suspicion of DUI, a second offense, and was held for $10,000 bail.

Traffic stop. Reef Point. 10:30 p.m. A 37-year-old Newport Coast woman was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. Pearl St. 11 p.m. A 56-year-old Laguna Beach woman was cited for DUI

Friday, June 8

Traffic stop. San Joaquin St. 1:43 a.m. A 37-year-oold Newport Beach man surrendered the keys to his 2014 Lamborghini when arrested for DUI.

Reckless driving. Broadway Place. 8:59 a.m. A report about a swerving vehicle resulted in the arrest of Ricardo Flores, 26, of Santa Ana, for suspicion of DUI. Due to a prior offense, bail was set at $10,000 bail.

Burglary. 2700 block of S. Coast Highway. 2:26 p.m. Details of the break-in were unavailable.

Drunk driving. Coast Highway southbound. 10:31 p.m. A 22-year-old Irvine woman was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. 300 block of Pearl St. 10:41 p.m. A 73-year-old Nevada man was cited for DUI.

Traffic stop. Canyon Road. 11:59 p.m. A 48-year-old Ladera Ranch man was cited for DUI.

Thursday, June 7

Theft. 100 block of Crescent Bay Drive. 9:48 a.m. A $1,000 pair of sunglasses was stolen from a car that may have been left unlocked.

Wednesday, June 6

Drunk driving. S. Coast Highway. 9:30 p.m. A 52-year-old Tiburon resident was cited for DUI following a collision with a parked car.

Disturbance. 1400 block of S. Coast Hwy. 11 p.m. A description by a witness of a customer who allegedly throw a bottle at a DJ led police to arrest a 69-year-old Laguna Niguel man for DUI.



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