Panga boat nabbed in Laguna Beach yields $1.8 million in marijuana

Feb 6, 2013

In two separate events, Border Patrol agents confiscated approximately $2 million worth of illicit drugs.

The first apprehension occurred along the Southern California coastline near midnight when Border Patrol agents witnessed a panga-style fishing boat off the coast of El Moro Bay in Laguna Beach, California.

“The panga boat came ashore near the Crystal Cove State Park,” according to Ralph DeSio, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Public Affairs Specialist. “Agents observed seven men exiting the boat and unload bundles onto the beach. Two additional men exited a nearby GMC Yukon vehicle and assisted in unloading the bundles from the panga.”

Border Patrol agents searched the beach and found nine men who were carrying 26 bundles of marijuana. The 26 bails of pot weighed 1,196.8 pounds worth an estimated $1,795,200.

All nine alleged smugglers and narcotics were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) Special Agents for further investigation. Border Patrol confiscated the GMC Yukon vehicle and panga boat.

During a separate event, Border Patrol agents at the I-8 checkpoint in Pine Valley, CA, east of San Diego, encountered a 21-year-old U.S. citizen driving a Nissan Maxima. The man’s nervous behavior alerted agents who referred the man to a secondary inspection station. “A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in a positive alert,” said DeSio. “Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 10 packages of bath salts narcotics in two aftermarket compartments under the front seats. The packages weighed 23.28 pounds and had an estimated street value of $209,520.”

The suspected smuggler and narcotics were turned over to a San Diego County Narcotics Task Force for further investigation and Border Patrol seized the vehicle.

Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the San Diego Sector U.S. Border Patrol at (619) 498-9900.

For recent amnesty story:

© Copyright 2013 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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