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USBP: 6 arrested in Imperial Beach after four swim around border wall

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Four undocumented men were caught swimming around the border wall in Imperial Beach.

U.S. Border Patrol said agents were patrolling the coastline last Sunday morning when they saw four men walking along the beach. They said they were wearing torn wetsuits without equipment.

When they approached the men, they fled. They caught a 17-year-old after a brief chase, but the other three got into a GMC Acadia SUV.

Agents pulled the SUV over as they attempted to leave the area and found all three men in wetsuits, along with the driver and passenger.

They took the five adults and the 17-year-old to the station for further processing. The driver and the passenger are charged with human smuggling.

“As a constant reminder to the public, if you see something out of the ordinary near the coast, don’t hesitate to call authorities,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke.  “Attempting to swim around the border wall is very dangerous, especially in the thick fog that was present that morning, yet callous smugglers continue to guide people on this dangerous course.”

Border Security / Imperial County
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Sumiko Keil

Sumiko Keil has served as the Digital Content Producer since March 2019.

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

Mercedes was born in San Diego and raised in the border-town of Calexico, California. She is an Imperial Valley native and definitely no stranger to Yuma county.

Mercedes began her journalism career at San Jose State University as she was a part of their campus newscast that aired every Friday, joined “El Espartano Noticias,” and was an on-air talent for the San Jose Film Festival in 2017. Her highlight during that time was the opportunity to interview actress, Jane Lynch.

Mercedes then continued her journey to CSU Sacramento and received her B.A in Journalism and minor in Communication Studies. She did an internship with Telemundo in Sacramento, which allowed her to gain experience and build relationships.

Mercedes believes that everyone has a story and should use their voice to tell it and inspire others.

Outside of work, Mercedes spends time with her friends and family. She is passionate about cooking, baking, traveling, playing guitar and writing songs.


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