US Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted two lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Tuesday afternoon.

Coast Guard crews stopped two lanchas with a total of seven Mexican fishermen. Both lancha boats, with fishing gear onboard, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

A lancha is a fishing boat used by Mexican fishermen that is approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile, typically has one outboard motor, and is capable of traveling at speeds exceeding 30 mph.

Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the US and fish illegally in the US’ Exclusive Economic Zone near the US-Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi has interdicted 56 lanchas that were north of the US-Mexico Maritime Border since 1 October 2017.