Coast Guard Finds 4,000 Pounds Of Marijuana Floating Off California Coast

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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The U.S. Coast Guard nabbed roughly 4,000 pounds of marijuana from smugglers, found floating in a disabled boat off the coast of San Diego May 18.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Haddock returned to port in San Diego with the massive haul Thursday after the successful drug seizure in the Pacific. A good Samaritan tipped off the harbor operations center about a disabled vessel they spotted floating off shore in the early morning May 18, reports ABC 10.

Authorities sent a U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft to confirm the location and notified the crew of the Haddock who intercepted the boat. The crew uncovered approximately 4,000 pounds of pot wrapped in packages and took two smugglers aboard the vessel into custody. The smugglers, who were not identified, were turned over to the San Diego Marine Task Force to face prosecution.

The marijuana carries a street value of more than $6 million. The cost of marijuana varies widely in the U.S., but experts say so far this year it averages $1,641 per pound.

The seizure is the latest bust by U.S. authorities of smugglers trafficking drugs on the seas. The U.S. Coast Guard grabbed nearly half a billion dollars of cocaine during a series of drug busts in the Pacific Ocean targeting smuggling routes over a 26-day period in March. Authorities arrested more than 30 drug smugglers over the course of the nearly month long mission.

A U.S. Navy destroyer seized nearly 600 pounds of heroin in the Arabian Sea March 13 after discovering the stash of drugs during a routine boarding. Officials called it a “big win” in the war against international narcotics trafficking.

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