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6 arrested after 4 swim around border wall: Border Patrol

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Six people were arrested in Imperial Beach, California on Sunday after four of them—all undocumented—were caught swimming around the southern border wall, according to KYMA Yuma and other outlets.

U.S. Border Patrol said agents were patrolling the foggy coastline Sunday morning, according to the local news station, when they spotted four men walking along the beach while donning ripped wetsuits without equipment.

When they approached the men, they took off. The agents apprehended a 17-year-old, but the remaining three hopped into a GMC Acadia SUV.

Agents pulled the SUV over as they tried to escape the area and found the trio in wetsuits, plus a driver and passenger.

All five adults and the 17-year-old were taken to the Border Patrol station for processing. The driver and the passenger are charged with human smuggling and the vehicle was seized by Border Patrol.

“As a constant reminder to the public, if you see something out of the ordinary near the coast, don’t hesitate to call authorities,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said, per a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol press release. “Attempting to swim around the border wall is very dangerous, especially in the thick fog that was present that morning, yet callous smugglers continue to guide people on this dangerous course.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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