November 26, 2014
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities arrested 13 men and seized more than 6,600 pounds of marijuana from a smuggling boat that was intercepted off the coast of Santa Barbara County.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol official Troy Matthews says Friday agents observed the boat just off the shore of Las Flores Beach at 1 a.m. Thursday.
They searched the 27-foot boat and found 300 bales of marijuana wrapped in black plastic.
Officials estimate the street value for the haul is nearly $10 million dollars.
Agents searched the surrounding area and arrested eight Mexican nationals, one El Salvadoran and four U.S. citizens on suspicion of smuggling.
Officials say maritime drug smuggling is on the rise, and 50 tons of pot has been seized so far this fiscal year.