Almost $2 Million in Marijuana Seized Near San Diego

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air and Marine received a report of a suspicious 40-foot panga occupied by two passengers and multiple bales and fuel barrels. Air Interdiction Agents used an aircraft to patrol the area and located the panga approximately 160 southwest of San Diego in international waters.

Upon being spotted by the aircraft, the panga passengers began unloading bales of marijuana from the vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche responded to the scene to retrieve the bales and track the panga as it traveled toward Mexico.

Later that day, a second suspicious panga was observed near this same location. As with the first vessel, the four passengers on this second panga began to unload bales of marijuana once they realized they had been spotted by authorities. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Waesche was again dispatched to retrieve the abandoned narcotics.

In all, the U.S. Coast Guard recovered 133 bales of marijuana weighing more than 3,300 pounds. The estimated street value of this find is $1,990,000.

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