Otay Mountain at Center of New Border Patrol Enforcement Operation

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File photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, law enforcement forces and equipment gather at a command post in the desert
File photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, law enforcement forces and equipment gather at a command post in the desert

SAN DIEGO—Beginning this week, the U.S. Border Patrol, San Diego Sector refocused its priority enforcement efforts to Otay Mountain to target cross-border criminal smuggling organizations.

“Multiple smuggling organizations are responsible for threatening our Nation’s security through persistent human smuggling on Otay Mountain,” said Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow.  “We will flex our enforcement posture toward these exploited areas to weaken and ultimately eliminate these criminal enterprises.”

The enforcement operation is supported through the reallocation of personnel and resources to Otay Mountain from other areas throughout San Diego Sector.  The operation also will be supported by established partnerships in the U.S., as well as the Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal), to leverage prosecutorial and enforcement efforts on both sides of the border.

“Throughout the course of this operation, anyone apprehended in the focus enforcement areas will be subject to the maximum punitive consequence according to Federal law,” Barlow said.  “We also will maintain intelligence sharing and communication with our Mexican law enforcement partners should targeted criminals seek refuge in Mexico.”

In addition to the threat presented by the smuggling organizations, Otay Mountain has historically been well known for bandit activity, kidnappings, extortion, and rapes committed upon migrants by perpetrators in Mexico.

This latest enforcement effort follows a four-month operation that took place in East County, primarily near Jacumba, Calif.