Canyon News
Authorities Seize Suspected Smuggling Boat
By Michael Lambrose
Nov 9, 2012 - 11:44:20 AM

MARINA DEL REY—On Thursday at 6:55 a.m., the Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Baywatch Lifegaurds found a panga just off the coast south of Marina Del Rey.  Pangas, or “go fast” boats, are small open-aired boats powered by outboard engines.  These vessels have been used widely in drug and human trafficking from Mexico throughout Southern California. 

go-fast_cocaine_smuggling_boat_250381.jpg
Example of a panga.
Although there were no occupants on board, the vessel recovered on Thursday is being held as evidence by ICE’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force, the US Coast Guard, and the US Customs and Border Protection for each department’s respective investigation of the incident.

According to a recent ICE report, pangas are increasingly difficult to detect because of their speed and the fact that they are used at night in order to avoid detection.  Furthermore, due to increased patrols of the coast by the US Coast Guard, these vessels are traveling further up the coast before unloading.  For example, according to the San Luis Obispo’s Sheriff’s Department, there have been a number of pangas recovered off their coast this year.  Most recently, on October 19, a panga suspected of being used to smuggle marijuana was recovered just north of Piedras Blancas.



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