The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) thwarted a suspected smuggling attempt about 140 miles southwest of San Diego Monday, nabbing 5,000 pounds of marijuana from a panga boat.
According to USCG officials, a Sacramento-based Coast Guard patrol aircraft spotted the 30-foot boat around 3:40 p.m. A USCG interceptor boat was launched to investigate the suspicious vessel.
Officials say a brief chase ensued in the water, with the USCG boat crew using disabling gunfire on the panga boat’s engines. On board, officials discovered 201 bales of marijuana and two suspected smugglers.
The panga, suspects and marijuana were transferred to San Diego-based Coast Guard Cutter Sea Otter and taken to San Diego.
In addition to Coast Guard crews, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine Multi-Role Enforcement Aircraft provided aerial support in the maritime bust.