Coast Guard interdicts drug laden panga boat in Channel Islands

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LOS ANGELES – Law enforcement officials intercepted a 35-foot panga vessel carrying 122 bales of marijuana in the early morning hours of January 18, 2014.

While on a routine patrol, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast spotted the panga south west of San Nicolas Island heading north.

Bales of marijuana seized from a panaga boat by the U.S. Coast Guard lie stacked and held as evidence in Los Angeles. The U.S. Coast Guard spotted the suspicious vessel southwest of San Nicolas Island then intercepted the boat and 122 bales of marijuana Jan. 18, 2014.

Bales of marijuana seized from a panaga boat by the U.S. Coast Guard being held as evidence in Los Angeles. 

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Astoria, Oregon, deployed a law enforcement team to investigate and a pursuit commenced.

While the Steadfast law enforcement team pursued the vessel, other law enforcement agencies combined sea and air resources to ensure the vessel didn’t get away. The panga was safely stopped south-west of Santa Rosa Island at about 3:50 a.m.

When law enforcement team members boarded the panga manned by two people, they discovered 122 bales of marijuana aboard. The contraband was then confiscated and the crew detained.

The continued relationship between the Coast Guard, CBP, HSI and local law enforcement is the key to successfully securing our borders. The coordinated takedown that transpired in the early morning hours of 18 Jan is again another example of that strong collaboration…putting the right resources in the right position at the right time to protect our homeland.

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