An abandoned panga boat carrying 577 pounds of marijuana that was identified in Malibu Saturday is think to have been portion of an organized drug smuggling operation, authorities mentioned.

The 35-foot vessel was identified at about six:15 a.m. at a beach along the Pacific Coast Highway close to Deer Creek Road, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned in a news release.

The boat was carrying 41 bales of marijuana onboard.

Deputies also identified 37 significant canisters filled with about 605 gallons of gasoline in the boat, and floating in the water nearby, according to the news release.

The Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned the use of significant amounts of gasoline is prevalent in narcotics smuggling operations.

Panga boats are fishing boats usually applied by “sophisticated maritime narcotics smugglers” to bring significant amounts of drugs from Mexico to the United States, the Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned.

Drug-carrying panga boats have shown up regularly along the California coast for years. Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is supected to have applied panga boats to bring narcotics into the U.S.

Amongst 2011 and 2016,  234 of 309 detected drug smuggling operations involving panga boats and recreational vessels in the nation had been intercepted in California, according to a report by the Government Accountability Workplace.

That produced up 76% of all maritime drug smuggling busts in the nation.

Authorities mentioned smugglers commonly have associates in the Unites States that aid transport and distribute the drugs.

It is unclear exactly where the boat identified in Malibu came from, or exactly where it was headed.

Immediately after the discovery, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was sent to the beach to search for any folks in distress, but the search was later named off and no victims had been identified, authorities mentioned.

Authorities disposed of the gasoline containers and seized the boat and bales of marijuana.

“The Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace is committed to aggressively target maritime narcotics trafficking by functioning closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents and U.S. Coast Guard to combat maritime narcotics trafficking affecting Ventura County,” the news release study.

 

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