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Boat That Ferried Undocumented Immigrants Found On North County Beach

— A small fishing boat that apparently had ferried undocumented immigrants into the United States overnight was found abandoned on a North County beach today.

The open-hulled vessel, a type known as a panga in Mexico, was discovered shortly before 6 a.m. on Ponto Beach, near the terminus of Poinsettia Lane in Carlsbad, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Agents searched the area but found no suspected undocumented migrants.

"We do believe that this was part of an organized (human) smuggling event, however,'' said Michael Jimenez, a spokesman for the federal agency.

Personnel with the Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine took custody of the boat, which has the name "La Milagrosa'' painted on it.

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