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Coast Guard halts suspected pot smuggling operation off San Diego coast

As a U.S. Coast Guard cutter stands by, the Mexican navy approaches a panga boat with three suspected drug smugglers and an estimated 250 bales of marijuana aboard south of San Diego Tuesday, June 18, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard/Seaman Ryan Taylor)

June 20, 2013 12:47:37 AM PDT
The U.S. Coast Guard halted three suspected marijuana smugglers off the coast of San Diego.

After a Coast Guard plane spotted a panga boat early Tuesday morning southwest of San Diego, one of their cutters was diverted to investigate.

The crew, who claimed Mexican nationality, was throwing fuel barrels overboard when the cutter arrived. The coast guard estimates they had about 250 bales of marijuana aboard, each weighing between 10 and 40 pounds.

The boat, the suspected smugglers and the contraband were turned over to the Mexican navy.