Coast Guard intercepts panga boats in SD

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Coast Guard crews intercepted two panga boats and an estimated 12,000 pounds of marijuana approximately 180 miles southwest of San Diego.

Four suspects were taken into custody and brought to San Diego for prosecution.

While on patrol, a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Sacramento detected the pangas. Coast Guard Cutters Stratton, Haddock and Petrel were diverted to intercept the suspected smugglers.

When the cutters arrived on scene, the four suspects fled aboard one of the pangas, abandoning the second. After a brief pursuit, the Coast Guard crews detained the suspects and seized the panga they were aboard.

An additional law enforcement team from Stratton discovered 491 bales of marijuana aboard the panga that was left behind when the suspects attempted to flee.

The Petrel and Haddock’s crews transported the seized pangas and suspects to San Diego.

The bales of marijuana were transported to San Diego by the Stratton and turned over to the interagency Marine Task Force.

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