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The captain of a boat that rammed a Coast Guard vessel while carrying nearly 500 pounds of methamphetamine off the coast of San Diego was sentenced Friday to more than 16 years in federal prison.
Miguel Ojeda Agundez, 26, pleaded guilty to 15 federal counts, including charges of assault and drug conspiracy, for intentionally colliding with a Coast Guard boat Aug. 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 Ojeda Agundez rammed their vessel.
Ojeda Agundez also tried to ram a U.S. Customs and Border Protection boat before his ship was stopped, prosecutors said. Authorities found ice chests aboard the boat “filled with close to 500 pounds of methamphetamine.”
Three other defendants have already been sentenced to prison terms ranging from nearly nine years to 14 years. U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino sentenced Ojeda Agundez to 16 years and two months in prison.
Rear Admiral Andrew Sugimoto, commander of Coast Guard District 11, said in a statement that a similar incident in 2012, off the coast of Santa Barbara, led to the death of Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III when a drug-smuggling boat rammed a Coast Guard vessel.
“As a service, we do not take these actions lightly and I trust the decision of the courts to continue to hold these criminals responsible for their continued disregard for life,’’ Sugimoto said.
Captain of drug boat that rammed Coast Guard vessel off San Diego sentenced to federal prison
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