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Captain of drug boat that rammed Coast Guard vessel off San Diego sentenced to federal prison

The captain of a boat that blocked a Coast Guard vessel while transporting nearly 500 pounds of methamphetamine off the coast of San Diego was sentenced Friday to 16-plus years in federal prison.

Miguel Ojeda Agundez, 26, pleaded guilty to 15 federal charges, including assault and drug conspiracy charges, for intentionally crashing into a Coast Guard vessel on August 8, 2020, then leading the Coast Guard on a high-speed chase.

The U.S. attorney’s office said five Coast Guard officers were injured when the Ojeda Agundez rammed their boat.

Ojeda Agundez also attempted to ram a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vessel before his vessel was stopped, prosecutors said. Authorities found ice columns on the boat “filled with nearly 500 kilograms of methamphetamine.”

Three other defendants have already been sentenced to prison terms ranging from nearly nine to 14 years. U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino sentenced Ojeda Agundez to 16 years and two months in prison.

Rear Adm. Andrew Sugimoto, commander of Coast Guard District 11, said in a statement that a similar incident in 2012 off Santa Barbara resulted in the death of Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III when a drug-smuggling boat struck a Coast Guard vessel.

“As an agency, we do not take these actions lightly, and I trust the courts’ decision to continue to hold these criminals accountable for their continued disregard for life,” Sugimoto said.

Captain of drug boat that rammed Coast Guard vessel off San Diego sentenced to federal prison Source link Captain of drug boat that rammed Coast Guard vessel off San Diego sentenced to federal prison

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