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  1. godztear
    Four tons of marijuana pulled from ocean off California

    Authorities found almost four tons of marijuana with a street value of $3.6 million floating in the ocean off Dana Point, California, on Sunday.

    Boats from the Border Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Orange County sheriff's office were involved in recovering the 160 bales of marijuana, according to a report from CNN affiliate KCBS.

    A tip led authorities to the marijuana floating in the Pacific Ocean about 13 miles off Dana Point, the station reported.

    Border Patrol spokesman Michael Jimenez told the Orange County Register that the fact that the pot was found with no suspected drug boats in the area was unusual.

    "At other events, they've dumped the bales to get rid of weight if they're being chased. Generally in these cases we're aware they're being dumped. What's more unusual is that the bales were floating with no boat in sight," the Register quotes Jimenez as saying.

    May 21st, 2012 - 07:04 AM ET
    Brad Lendon


  1. kumar420
    i read this and all i could think was 'jesus if i'd found those...'
    talk about a jackpot, too bad the police got it. some stoner would have been set for life haha
  2. godztear
    More Bales of Marijuana Discovered Unattended Along Central Coast

    Large quantities of pot were found floating near Dana Point harbor in May, and recently a Department of Fish and Game warden discovered a drug running boat and 22 bales of pot north of Morro Bay.

    Last month, hundreds of bales of marijuana were discovered floating near Dana Point harbor and last week, more bales were found off Morro Bay near the Central California coast.

    On May 20, U.S. Border Patrol Agents recovered hundreds of bales of marijuana 13 miles off Dana Point, with a street value of more than $3 million, Orange County Sheriff's Department Lt. Joe Balicki said.

    To date, there is no new information about the Dana Point incident, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Slikker who is based at the harbor.

    The bales in Dana Point were found floating by a boater about noon Balicki said.

    "It kind of makes you wonder how it got there," Balicki said at the time. "We didn't have any reports of vessels in distress."

    The 160 bales weighed about 7,000 to 8,000 pounds, Balicki said.

    Seizing the narcotics was the result of the joint effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities working within one regional coordinating group to stop illegal maritime activity along the Southern California coastline, said Jackie Wasiluk, spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    On May 24, a Department of Fish and Game warden discovered a drug running boat and a large quantity of marijuana north of Morro Bay.

    The DFG operates six patrol boats in the state, one of those is a catamaran-style based at Dana Point harbor. It patrols the coastline on a regular basis, DFG officials said.

    The warden was investigating a vehicle parked in an unusual location near the northern boundary of the Piedras Blancas Marine Protected Area in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary when he spotted the 30-foot “Panga” boat beached on the sand.

    He followed fresh human footprints leading away from the boat and found 22 bales of marijuana nearby. The boat was abandoned but held multiple plastic barrels containing more than 400 gallons of fuel for the outboard engines. Because it was a potential pollution hazard, wardens from DFG’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response arrived to facilitate clean up.

    Food, water, clothing and other supplies were also found inside the boat. Several other agencies including California State Parks, California Highway Patrol and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office responded to remove the fuel barrels and drugs, and tow the boat off the beach.

    Police from all the involved agencies searched near the boat and the surrounding area with officers, dogs all-terrain vehicles and a helicopter, but no suspects or additional evidence were found.

    The Panga is a type of modest-sized, open, outboard-powered fishing boat common throughout much of the developing world. They are considered extremely seaworthy and can go as fast as 35 miles per hour. Law enforcement personnel presume the drugs were being staged in the sand dunes for pick-up, transport and eventual sale. MPAs are primarily intended to protect or conserve marine life and habitat, and include state water quality protection area, state marine cultural preservation area and state marine recreational management areas, according to Patrick Foy, a DFG spokesperson.

    It is permissible to have a boat in the area but beaching a boat is highly unusual and typically indicative of distress or illegal activity. The investigation is continuing, Foy said.

    California Game Wardens are full police officers with authority to arrest and take criminals into custody for not just poaching and pollution crimes, but any crimes. They are issued guns, handcuffs, etc., Foy added.

    Foy said that the two incidents “may or may not be related.”

    June 4, 2012 | Debbie L. Sklar
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