POLITICS

Immigration Officials Charge Nine People With Drug and Human Smuggling

July 11: Coast Guard and National Park Service personnel with the apprehension of 15 suspected illegal migrants, near Santa Cruz Island, Calif.

July 11: Coast Guard and National Park Service personnel with the apprehension of 15 suspected illegal migrants, near Santa Cruz Island, Calif.  (AP)

Nine people face charges in connection with drug and human smuggling along Southern California's coasts.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said Friday that three men appeared in federal court Wednesday on charges of human smuggling and a fourth on a charge of re-entering the country illegally after their boat capsized while landing at Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County.

The agency says another man has been charged with human smuggling after 15 suspected undocumented immigrants were stranded on Santa Cruz island for three days last week and four men have been charged with drug smuggling after a boat carrying almost 500 pounds of marijuana was stopped near Dana Point in June.

Authorities say smugglers have been turning to sea routes from Mexico into the U.S. because of increased enforcement on land.

This is based on a story by the Associated Press.

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