Drug Boat Captain That Rammed Coast Guard Vessel Sentenced

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The captain of a drug-smuggling boat that rammed a U.S. Coast Guard vessel off the coast of San Diego was sentenced Friday to more than 16 years in prison.

Miguel Ojeda Agundez, 26, was carrying nearly 500 pounds (227 kilograms) of methamphetamine when he rammed the Coast Guard boat in 2020 and led authorities on a high-speed chase, federal prosecutors said.

The boat was finally stopped and boarded after also trying to ram a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vessel closer to shore, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The boarders found ice chests filled with methamphetamine, the statement said.

Ojeda Agundez pleaded guilty to 15 federal counts including conspiracy and drug charges and assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

Three other defendants were previously given sentences ranging from nearly nine years to 14 years in federal prison.