MALIBU—A panga boat stuffed with marijuana was found by sheriff’s deputies on Monday, April 7.
The incident began around 8:00 a.m. when deputies from the Sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills station responded to a call for assistance from State Park Rangers in Leo Carillo State Beach, according to Kim Manatt of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They had found a panga boat that had come ashore leaking gasoline and smelling of marijuana.
When deputies arrived, they found Park Rangers in the process of arresting one individual and later determined that two other occupants had managed to flee from the scene. It was then that a search effort was established with cooperation from the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, Immigrations and Customs and Enforcement and others to find the missing occupants, who were later found and arrested. Bundles of marijuana were found in the discarded boat by investigators.
The Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) was set to handle the resulting investigation. They confiscated the marijuana to be weighed and processed as evidence in addition to taking into custody three individuals for questioning. The loaded panga boat was also taken by BEST officials, who towed the vehicle after the arrests.