SAN DIEGOâ€”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.
â€œMultiple smuggling organizations are responsible for threatening our Nationâ€™s security through persistent human smuggling on Otay Mountain,â€ said Chief Patrol Agent Richard A. Barlow.Â â€œWe will flex our enforcement posture toward these exploited areas to weaken and ultimately eliminate these criminal enterprises.â€
The enforcement operation is supported through the reallocation of personnel and resources to Otay Mountain from other areas throughout San Diego Sector.Â The operation also will be supported by established partnerships in the U.S., as well as the Mexican Federal Police (PolicÃa Federal), to leverage prosecutorial and enforcement efforts on both sides of the border.
â€œThroughout the course of this operation, anyone apprehended in the focus enforcement areas will be subject to the maximum punitive consequence according to Federal law,â€ Barlow said.Â â€œWe also will maintain intelligence sharing and communication with our Mexican law enforcement partners should targeted criminals seek refuge in Mexico.â€
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.