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Border Patrol Seizes Marijuana & Abandoned Vessel 180 Miles North of the Border

Release Date: 
January 7, 2020

MALIBU, Calif.—U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 60 pounds of marijuana near an abandoned panga on Sunday that had been beached at Deer Creek Beach, near Point Mugu State Park.


On January 5, at approximately 7:45 a.m., agents responded to a report from the Maritime Coordination Center that a 40-foot panga with three powerful outboard engines had washed ashore.  Agents did not encounter any people on the boat or in the surrounding area.


During the subsequent inspection of the boat, agents found several large bundles of marijuana nearby and over 500 gallons of fuel on board.  In all, there was 60.08 pounds of marijuana, which has an estimated street value of $24,000.  The marijuana and the vessel were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

The abandoned panga was 40 ft. in length with three powerful engines.
The abandoned panga was 40 feet in
length and powered by three powerful
outboard engines.


A vessel of this size, with this much power, is capable of carrying up to 5,000 pounds of narcotics and able to travel at a high rate of speed.   Considering these capabilities, a boat like this would not likely be purposefully abandoned.  The vessel had a broken steering cable that agents believe forced the smugglers to abandon it.


Since October 1, 2019, Border Patrol agents along with Air and Marine Operations have seized 925 pounds of marijuana, 26 vessels and made over 280 arrests from maritime smuggling events in San Diego Sector.


The U.S. Border Patrol in collaboration with Federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies coordinates operations through the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCoM) to address transnational maritime threats along the Southern California coast.  The ReCoM mission is to increase homeland security by eliminating transnational crime along the coast.  The Joint Harbor Operations Center (JHOC) in San Diego is the tactical command center for ReCoM.


If you have information about maritime smuggling or suspicious activity along the coast of California, please contact 911, and you will be directed through the proper channels.


Last modified: 
January 7, 2020