SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Another panga boat washed up north of Refugio Beach in Santa Barbara County yesterday morning. Officials found it on California State Park land in the area of Arroyo Quemada beach. About $4 million worth of marijuana was on board.
This is just another case in the fight against the smugglers using the Central Coast shoreline as their get-away route. This incident is yet another multi-million dollar drug bust.
Part of the issue with these smugglers, aside from the fact that they are carrying illegal drugs, is that they're believed to be armed and dangerous. No smugglers were found near Arroyo Quemada Beach and the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department is investigating where the smugglers may be and where the boat was headed. The department didn't say whether investigators think people on the boat were going to come back for the marijuana they left, but department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover says the smugglers didn't just leave the drugs out in the open.
"The bales of marijuana were found partially secreted within the bushes which was adjacent to the roadway leading to and from Quemada Beach," says Hoover.
Congresswoman Lois Capps has been vocal in the effort to combat panga smuggling on Central Coast shores. She sent this statement saying, "as these incidents illustrate, there is still more to do and that's why I will continue to push for more federal support and collaboration to help keep our shores safe."
Part of that effort that Capps touched on includes the Coast Guard collaborating with county law enforcement.
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