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19 arrested after panga boat lands at Calafia Beach in San Clemente

Border agents arrested 19 people Tuesday after a panga boat landed at Calafia Beach near San Clemente, federal authorities said.

At around 4:45 am agents with Border Patrol agents spotted a panga boat with 17 people onboard, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Pangas are compact fishing vessels often used by smugglers.

Once reaching land, the group made their way to a sedan that was waiting nearby, driven by a Guatemalan citizen, officials said. Federal authorities did not give details about where exactly the car was.

The boat passengers, all Mexican, and sedan driver were arrested, the agency said in a statement. A few hours later, a Salvadorian citizen was also arrested in connection with the smuggling event, authorities said, though they did not give details about where that person was found.

The Guatemalan and Salvadorian citizens, both in the U.S. illegally, were set to be charged with felony smuggling of illegal immigrants, authorities said.

Source: Orange County Register

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