Coast Guard Foils Attempt to Smuggle Drugs

SAN DIEGO – An estimated 427 pounds of marijuana has been seized by the U.S. Coast Guard in international waters off the coast of Baja California after patrol aircraft and cutters disrupted an apparent smuggling operation.

Late Thursday a Coast Guard C-130 patrol aircraft, based in Sacramento, sighted a suspicious vessel headed north about 150 miles from San Diego. Two Coast Guard patrol boats were diverted to intercept the vessel and Mexican authorities were notified.

The cutters did not intercept the speedboat, but as they headed toward the craft, the speedboat’s crew was observed throwing bales into the water. The Coast Guard recovered the bales from the water, which later tested positive as marijuana.

When Coast Guard patrol aircraft returned to the area yesterday, a suspicious vessel was sighted. The aircraft pursued the vessel, which fled into Mexican territorial waters and Mexican authorities later intercepted the boat.

The Coast Guard Cutter rendezvoused later with the Mexican authorities to transfer one bale of Marijuana to be used as evidence.

The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies routinely patrol known drug trafficking routes off the coast of Baja California in cooperation with Mexican authorities. This seizure of marijuana is the third such case since November for a total of 7,383 pounds with an estimated street value of more than 10.9 million dollars.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.