The so-called panga boat was found at the Leo Carrillo beach,
which is popular among local surfers, and was loaded with bundles of
marijuana, said Deputy Joseph Baclawski of the Los Angeles sheriff
department's special enforcement bureau.
"It's hard to say for certain the exact weight because the drugs are
wrapped, and sealed numerous times, in large bundles," Baclawski
said, adding that authorities were basing the estimate based on
visual clues. "Two thousand pounds (910 kg) is about all these
pangas can fit."
The past four years have seen an upswing in drug arrests along the
Southern California coastline involving the deep V-bottom pangas,
although it is rare to find a beached boat loaded with drugs on a
popular beach during daylight hours, Baclawski said.
"Usually they try and hit much more secluded beaches and at night,
so if they made a daytime landing, then something went wrong," he
said. "Either the motor broke or they ran out of food and water."
Three people were located within a half mile of the beached boat and
have been detained for questioning, Baclawski said.
[to top of second column]
In the past two years, agents have apprehended some 1,300 people,
seized more than 200 vessels and recovered more than 135,000 pounds
(61,235 kg) of drugs along the coast between the Mexican border and
Rancho Palos Verdes, a Border Patrol spokesman said in January.
In 2008, by comparison, 230 people were apprehended and 33 vessels
seized, with no drugs recovered, the spokesman said at the time.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Ken Wills)
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