September, 15 2013
Carlsbad’s Ponto Beach has initiated a radar device detector that tracks smuggling boats 20 miles from the Coastline.
Immigrant smugglers, terrorists and drug dealers are beginning to make a threat to the Carlsbad California Coastline transporting illegal drugs and people across the borderline of Mexico.
The new device was installed in early August. Radar detectors help support law enforcement agencies and protect the coastline with advancement in government surveillance.
Federal officials have started to focus on securing the coastline through maritime smuggling during the past 25 years, Keith Jones of the Air and Marine Operations Center in Riverside told Union Tribune San Diego.
The radar device stands on top of a cliff right above the ocean’s shoreline at Ponto Beach along the Carlsbad Boulevard south of Avienda Encinas. Most radar devices track vessels four miles within the coastline. Small boats are hard to locate within the proximity.
New applications of data from Ponto Beach allow information to flow into the operations center surveillance room in Riverside. A coastal surveillance system has developed to combine data and add new information from devices, such as Carlsbad’s new radar detector.
The new software allows officials in Riverside to incorporate data found with smaller radar devices, such as police footage and data from government helicopters over the coastline.
One person jumped into the South Ponto Beach coast on March 12 and was allegedly suspected of holding illegal drugs within the cargo, federal authorities said. Carlsbad and Encinitas fire department were still looking for the victim.
The search was regulated by helicopter and boat. The water temperature off South Ponto Beach was reported to be at 56 degrees.
Drug loads were found on the vessel from Border Patrol. Most of the narcotics were reported to smell like soap and were wrapped in duck tape, luggage and cardboard boxes to try to cover radar detection.
In addition, two people found on the boat were taken to the nearest hospital to be treated for hypothermia and transported across the Mexico border, federal authorities said.
Drug and human trafficking operations are common off the North County coast. Women, children and mostly men are arrested and brought across the California coastline in recent arrests.
Immigrants from Mexico and Arizona are continually crossing the California coastline and small vessels are increasingly becoming hard to detect at sea. People venture in dangerous journeys to try passing the California coast usually in pangas, which are Mexican fishing boats.
Waterborne attacks are common in maritime pursuits. Coast Guards usually shoot out the engine to stop high chases, according to Tomas Tomaiko, a program manager for the borders and maritime division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Many smugglers are caught throwing drugs overboard to destroy evidence during chases with U.S. Coast Guards. San Diego and Orange counties increased security, which caused smugglers to move further north from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara counties. One- hundred and sixty five smuggling arrests have been made in the fiscal year 2012.
U.S. Coast Guards have boats that reach 45 feet and range to 50 miles per hour during chases. Night vision cameras also allow a useful government surveillance tool for U.S. Coast Guards during chases.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement say, passengers are charged $5,000 to 10,000 per ride and the smugglers can make $200,000 per successful journey.
In past years, Ponto Beach has received many small boats along the shoreline. Border Protection officials pick up abandoned boats along California’s coast. Smugglers usually abandon boats on the beaches shoreline late at night.
According to American law enforcement agents more than 200 records of smuggling pursuits between the U.S. Mexico border and California’s Coast have been made.
In the past year, a documented amount of 34 illegal immigrants on the California coastline have come across the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.
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