A joint effort between U.S. Border Patrol agents and San Diego Police officers led to the seizure of 39 bales of marijuana weighing several thousand pounds along the La Jolla, Calif., coastline early Tuesday.
At about 1:15 a.m., agents spotted a panga boat that came ashore at Windansea Beach. As the agents and SDPD officers approached the boat, they encountered a group of individuals unloading several large bundles of marijuana. After the individuals were arrested, agents seized the vessel and the bales of marijuana, which had an estimated street value of $1,434,500.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took custody of the suspected smugglers and the marijuana.
In a separate incident Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 13 individuals who are suspected of illegally entering the country by sea aboard another panga boat that landed at Ocean Beach.
At about 3 a.m., agents responded to a report of suspicious activity at Dog Beach and discovered the panga. During a search of the nearby area, agents arrested 12 Mexican nationals and one Guatemalan national. The group was transported to a local Border Patrol station for processing.
As maritime means continues to be used for the illicit smuggling of humans and drugs, the U.S. Border Patrol continues to work in collaboration with its law enforcement partners to maintain a high level of vigilance on the coastal border in the San Diego region.