Coast Guard crews bust marijuana smuggling attempts - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Coast Guard crews bust marijuana smuggling attempts

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A boat being used to transport a large amount of marijuana was stopped Wednesday off Point Loma, while another suspected smuggler's boat managed to elude authorities in a separate pursuit southwest of San Clemente Island.

About 12:25 a.m., a U.S. Coast Guard cutter crew spotted a panga boat about 47 miles southwest of San Clemente Island, but the suspected smugglers sped off, jettisoning packages of marijuana overboard, according to Petty Officer 1st Class Henry G. Dunphy.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft was brought in to track the open hull fishing vessel, Dunphy said. The suspects got away, but authorities recovered 122 bales of marijuana weighing in at 2,900 pounds from the water, Dunphy said. The cannabis was turned over to the Maritime Task Force, he said.

About 12:30 a.m. another San Diego-based Coast Guard crew stopped a northbound 25-foot recreational boat about 10 miles west of Point Loma, and spotted bales of marijuana on the deck, Dunphy said.

The two men aboard the boat were detained, and the vessel, which contained about 1,200 pounds of marijuana in 19 suitcases, was towed to San Diego Bay, Dunphy said.

The two suspected smugglers, their boat and the drugs were turned over to the Maritime Task Force, he said.

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