3 tons of marijuana found on boat off Southern California coast

SAN DIEGO, Calif.

Crew members of the Cutter Alert confiscated more than 3.3 tons of marijuana on Sunday.

The drugs were found on a vessel about 90 miles west of San Nicolas Island, which is part of the Channel Islands.

A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft discovered the vessel during a routine offshore patrol. Authorities said the suspects began jettisoning bales as the boat sped south at a high rate of speed. Officials recovered more than 245 bales of contraband.

The Coast Guard said drug cartels use this sea route to smuggle narcotics and other illegal cargo into California.

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