Panga boat found on Ventura County beach; 9 arrested

VENTURA, Calif.

Authorities say a deputy patrolling Rincon Beach spotted a 30-foot panga boat at about 3 a.m. between Seacliff and Mussel Shoals. The suspects had narcotics on the boat and were transferring the drugs onto an RV when they were caught.

Two people were arrested, and then a search was launched to find the other suspects, who fled the area.

Several people fled onto the 101 Freeway. The search forced a brief closure of all northbound lanes of Highway 101. Lanes have since reopened.

Detectives say there was 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana on the boat.

Authorities gathered evidence from the boat, which they believe came up the coast from Mexico.

Of the 14 suspects, all were men and one was a male juvenile. Authorities say about half of the group claimed to be U.S. citizens, while the rest are undocumented. They were booked at Main Jail in Ventura.

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