An estimated $500,000 worth of cannabis was found floating off the coast of Marina del Rey on Feb. 2. A boater alerted authorities to 30 bales, or 900 pounds, found some six miles west of the Marina del Rey harbor entrance, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The US Customs and Border Protection took over the case from the Marina del Rey Sheriff's Station, which first responded in the incident, the latest in a string of nautical cannabis seizures. A fishing boat, called a panga, washed ashore in Malibu three days earlier carrying about 1,500 pounds, officials reported. The area it was found is tellingly known as "Smugglers Cove."
Authorities speculate that beefed up enforcement along the US-Mexican border has led to cannabis smuggling in waters further up California's coast. At least 10 such incidents have occurred in Southern California waters in fiscal 2012 so far, authorities reported. There were 26 for all of fiscal 2011; nine in fiscal 2010; and two in 2009. (NBCLA, Feb. 2)