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Pot smuggling boat seized off Ventura County coast; 9 arrested

Nine people were arrested after officials discovered thousands of pounds of pot being smuggled by boat into California.

January 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Ten people were arrested after authorities discovered thousands of pounds of marijuana being smuggled by boat into California.

Authorities on Wednesday were patrolling along Pacific Coast Highway after smuggling vessels were discovered in the area near Deer Creek Road earlier this week.

About 2 a.m. off Ventura County's southern coast, authorities spotted a suspicious 27-foot fishing boat.

Arriving officers spotted an SUV and a car parked along Pacific Coast Highway as well.

They arrested 10 men believed to be Mexican nationals and seized the boat loaded with about 2,500 pounds of marijuana in bails.

Four of the suspects were in the boat, the other six were in the vehicles.

The street value was estimated to be about $1 million, according to federal authorities.

With drop-off points from San Diego to Los Angeles counties for human and drug smugglers drying up, law enforcement authorities say the Ventura and Santa Barbara coastline is seeing more of this type of activity coming to shore.

Last week in Santa Barbara County, an alleged drug smuggling boat was discovered by sheriff's deputies on their way to work.

In September, another alleged drug smuggling boat was found near where Wednesday's bust took place.