11 Suspects Held, Marijuana Seized from Small Boat

Byline: Associated Press

SANTA BARBARA (AP) — Santa Barbara County authorities reported 11 people were arrested and 3,000 pounds of marijuana were seized after a suspected panga smuggling boat was tracked to the Gaviota coast Dec. 12.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said numerous agencies responded when the Coast Guard reported at 12:15 a.m. Dec. 12 that the panga was heading to an area between Gaviota and El Capitan state beaches.

With the help of a Coast Guard helicopter’s lights, eight people hiding in brush were arrested around 2 a.m.

The panga, loaded with packaged marijuana, was also located — and three more suspects were detained on a beach around 8 a.m.

The operation involved federal customs, immigration and homeland security agents, as well as state parks and University of California police and California Highway Patrol officers.

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