$4M Of Pot On Beach; A Ton Of Weed, Literally, Abandoned On Cali Beach
An abandoned panga boat contained $4M of pot on a beach in Santa Barbara, Calif., authorities discovered Monday. The $4M of pot on the beach weighed more than 2,000 lbs. and was packaged in plastic bags and stashed in bushes near the abandoned boat. According to local authorities, the panga boat is becoming an increasingly popular smuggler's tool. The use of these boats to smuggle drugs and illegal immigrants is growing, according to a statement on the website of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office:
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"Panga style boats are small watercraft powered by one or more outboard motors. They are commonly used by fishermen in developing countries and have become increasingly popular with smugglers engaged in transporting illegal immigrants, narcotics, or other contraband from Mexico to the United States. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 20 panga-style boats have landed on the Santa Barbara County coastline, transporting cargo of narcotics, illegal immigrants and/ or other contraband.
The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office is asking the public to be aware of this increasing problem and to please contact Law Enforcement immediately if they see any suspicious boats in Santa Barbara County waters and/ or any suspicious activity on Highway 101, adjacent to coastal beach access," said the statement.
Earlier this month, marijuana with an estimated value of at least $1 million was discovered near a boat that had crashed on a beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base. Police are unsure why someone abandoned $4m of pot on the beach but are confident the culprits are professional drug smugglers.
"Sheriff's detectives located a significant amount of evidence that was consistent with marijuana smuggling activities, including trash and debris that was strewn about the beach and nearby coastal access trails," officials said in the statement.
The real mystery of the $4M of pot on the beach isn't who brought it in, but why it was abandoned. The drugs were uncovered by citizens, not police, so the smugglers were not in any immediate danger of being apprehended by law enforcement. Police have not said if they suspect foul play behind the $4M of pot on the beach, nor were there any signs of violence.
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