Police caught a Mexican drug boat that was backed with approximately a ton or more of marijuana just north of Los Angeles on Saturday at the Point Dume State Beach. Three Mexican men were arrested and were turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The boat was an open-topped “panga” type boat that was packed with bundles of marijuana wrapped in plastic.
In recent years security has gotten tougher along the United States/Mexican border making the drug trafficking organizations take to the sea to smuggle illegal immigrants and drugs to Los Angeles and surrounding areas. By the end of September 2011, in the past twelve months, there have been twenty-six maritime smuggling incidents recorded in the area of greater Los Angeles. Seven of these incidents were in Ventura County.
Since that time, there have been fourteen more incidents with one of them in Santa Barbara County and three in Ventura County. In recent months the United States have started to expand the use of land-base surveillance, cooperation with Mexican counterparts, and marine patrols to target and stop sea-borne smugglers. Going by sea to get the drugs and illegal immigrants into the United States is a longer route to Los Angeles than just coming across the border.
Author’s note: A Panga boat is a type of fishing boat that is of modest size, open, and powered by an outboard motor. They are usually between nineteen and twenty-eight feet in length and can hold one to five tons. They are capable of speeds higher than forty miles per hour.