POSTED: 2:51 pm PDT July 26, 2008
UPDATED: 3:19 pm PDT July 26, 2008
SAN DIEGO -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection marine interdiction agents intercepted a Mexican ponga boat, arrested three men and seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana early Saturday in San Diego coastal waters near Point Loma, officials said.
Responding to a sighting of a northbound vessel without lights from a nearby U.S. Coast Guard helicopter on patrol, a CBP Midnight Express go-fast boat with three agents intercepted the 25-foot Mexican ponga at 3:40 a.m. Saturday about 12 nautical miles northwest of Point Loma.
After a five-minute pursuit, the driver of the unmarked blue and white vessel came to a stop and surrendered, officials said.
Once on board the vessel, CBP marine interdiction agents discovered 13 bales of marijuana weighing 1,062 pounds and valued at about $478,000.
Three men on the boat were arrested.
The marine task force, which made the arrests, is composed of officers from various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The vessel was seized by CBP and is being stored in an undisclosed, secure location.
The seizure follows another apprehension made by CBP marine interdiction agents and border patrol agents on July 14, when a 19-foot Mexican ponga and nine undocumented Mexican men and women were discovered in the surf at Imperial Beach.
Find out more about Border Control and Customs, Illegal Drugs and Marijuana, or try these articles:
* March 5, 2008: Border Agent Chases Down Robbery Suspect
* February 13, 2008: Border Patrol: Smugglers Planting Booby Traps
* January 24, 2008: Arrest Made In Border Patrol Agent's Death
* December 14, 2007: Border Agents Firing Tear Gas Into Mexico
* October 2, 2007: Chula Vista Man Accused Of Smuggling Pot Across Border
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