Two Mexican nationals were being questioned on Saturday in connection with the discovery of nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana found on a fishing boat in the waters off Manhattan Beach in southwestern Los Angeles, federal officials said.
The boat was discovered at 2:45 a.m. at El Porto Beach, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Federal agents were conducting routine surveillance operations in the El Porto Beach area and saw a suspected smuggling boat approaching the shoreline, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said.
Agents found two men hiding behind a sand dune and took them into custody for questioning, Haley said.
Video footage taken at the location shows at least nine large black duffel bags or suitcases sitting in a beach parking lot near where authorities were conducting their investigation.
Saturday's discovery is one in a rising number of cases in recent years in which suspected smugglers use fishing boats -- called pangas -- from Mexico to ferry drugs and people into the United States, authorities said.