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Mexican nationals charged in Coast Guard death

(NBC NEWS) Federal prosecutors on Monday charged two Mexican nationals in the killing of a Coast Guardsman who died during a counter-drug operation off the California coast.

Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III was killed Sunday when he was thrown off a Coast Guard cutter after a suspicious vessel rammed into it, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Horne died from a traumatic head injury. Another guardsman was treated for minor injuries.

The suspects, Jose Meija-Leyva and Manuel Beltran-Higuera, were both expected to make initial court appearances in Los Angeles Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Meija-Leyva told investigators that he was the captain of the “panga” boat, the release said.