Photo: 15 on Panga That Washed Ashore in El Segundo Were Deported Criminals
A panga that washed ashore in El Segundo Wednesday reportedly carried 20 undocumented immigrants to U.S. shores.
Of the 20 immigrants, more than a dozen of them were criminals who had been deported after being convicted of crimes ranging from murder to burglary. A court affidavit filed by the Sheriff’s Department stated that 14 men and women had prior offenses in the U.S.
Those aboard the smuggling boat said they paid as much as $8,500 just for a seat on the boat, which left from Tijuana Tuesday night. Most were from Mexico, though a man from El Salvador and a woman from China traveled with them.
The captain of the boat is said to have gotten lost and missed the drop off point, and wound up on the beach in El Segundo.
Witnesses had spotted the boat out in the water and called authorities. As the travelers were attempting to push the boat back out to sea police surrounded and arrested them.
The captain, 54-year-old Esteban Sanchez-Hernandez and two other men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to bring immigrants to the U.S.
Had they not been spotted, police say the passengers would have continued on to safe houses in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, where they would have been kept until the smugglers received their fees.