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New radar installed at South Carlsbad State Beach

To detect near-shore smugglers

Site of new radar in Carlsbad
Site of new radar in Carlsbad

Motorists in the South Carlsbad area, driving along the coast highway (Carlsbad Blvd.), may have wondered what’s up with the new 12-foot rotating blade at the south end of the South Carlsbad State Beach campground. The new radar technology may have finally caught up with sea-level bad guys.

Since 2007, when the San Ysidro area border became completely sealed from the ocean to five miles east, traffickers needed to find other ways to sneak their human and drug cargo into the U.S. One of the ways was to go offshore.

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Less populated than the San Diego or Orange County shoreline, the North County coastline has become the pre-dawn landing beach of choice of smugglers operating stolen Mexican fishing boats. Known as pangas, the number of boats found unattended, stranded, or caught coming ashore has risen dramatically in the past several years.

A few years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents scoured coastal area businesses that had a clear view of the ocean in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Del Mar, posting flyers that encouraged citizens to report suspicious activity. The beach landings have continued to increase, roughly one every few weeks.

The boats, traveling north, will sometimes go as far out as 25 miles offshore in an attempt to evade Coast Guard detection. The boats are perfect for fishing in Baja, but not for the open ocean. When a panga — which tends to have a small outboard engine — becomes stranded, the smugglers usually abandon their cargo. People sometimes float around for days until they’re found by passing ships.

CBP, an agency within Homeland Security, placed the radar installation in the campground. It became operational — as in started spinning around and attracting motorists' attention — in late August. It is designed to use newer technology to cast a 15-mile-radius radar shadow from the point of La Jolla, north to Camp Pendleton. Radar images are monitored by Homeland Security personnel stationed at a facility in the Inland Empire.

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Site of new radar in Carlsbad
Site of new radar in Carlsbad

Motorists in the South Carlsbad area, driving along the coast highway (Carlsbad Blvd.), may have wondered what’s up with the new 12-foot rotating blade at the south end of the South Carlsbad State Beach campground. The new radar technology may have finally caught up with sea-level bad guys.

Since 2007, when the San Ysidro area border became completely sealed from the ocean to five miles east, traffickers needed to find other ways to sneak their human and drug cargo into the U.S. One of the ways was to go offshore.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Less populated than the San Diego or Orange County shoreline, the North County coastline has become the pre-dawn landing beach of choice of smugglers operating stolen Mexican fishing boats. Known as pangas, the number of boats found unattended, stranded, or caught coming ashore has risen dramatically in the past several years.

A few years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents scoured coastal area businesses that had a clear view of the ocean in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Del Mar, posting flyers that encouraged citizens to report suspicious activity. The beach landings have continued to increase, roughly one every few weeks.

The boats, traveling north, will sometimes go as far out as 25 miles offshore in an attempt to evade Coast Guard detection. The boats are perfect for fishing in Baja, but not for the open ocean. When a panga — which tends to have a small outboard engine — becomes stranded, the smugglers usually abandon their cargo. People sometimes float around for days until they’re found by passing ships.

CBP, an agency within Homeland Security, placed the radar installation in the campground. It became operational — as in started spinning around and attracting motorists' attention — in late August. It is designed to use newer technology to cast a 15-mile-radius radar shadow from the point of La Jolla, north to Camp Pendleton. Radar images are monitored by Homeland Security personnel stationed at a facility in the Inland Empire.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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