On Sunday December 2nd, a patrol plane noticed a boat in the Channel Islands. The boat raised suspicions because it was out on the water in the middle of the night and did not have any lights on. Not only that, but the boat was a panga, a boat commonly used by smugglers in the area. These are fairly small boats with an open top and motor. In order to investigate whether or not these were smugglers, a coast guard boat was sent out early on Sunday morning. Although the coast guards were in an 87-foot boat, they got into an inflatable boat in order to approach the panga boat. As they neared the boat, the panga turned towards them, rammed into them, and fled the scene.
Both of the coast guards were on the boat were thrown from the boat into the water. One suffered from minor injuries, but the other received a traumatic head injury. Although they were both quickly recused from the water and brought to shore, the coast guard who sustained the serious head injury was declared dead when he was examined on the pier.
Two men, Mexican nationals, have been arrested in connection with the incident. It is believed that their boat was smuggling drugs and they are both facing serious charges as the victim of the case was a federal officer. Federal prosecutors have brought charges of killing a federal officer against them.
For more information on this case, please check out this news article. You can also contact our team at Martinian & Associates Inc. for a free case evaluation. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from our office could defend you no matter how serious the charges against you appear to be. Call today to learn more!