California authorities made a staggering discovery after they pulled in nearly four tons of marijuana off of southern California's coast on Sunday.
In the afternoon, Harbor Patrol agents began receiving a slew of calls regarding large bails of marijuana floating off the coast of Dana Point. As the officials investigated, they began hauling in the huge bushels of weed. They grabbed 160 bales totaling over 7,263 pounds. Investigators believe the score could have a street value of over $3 million.
Several boats from the Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol were involved in the effort to bring the marijuana to shore, reported CBS.
Border Patrol spokesman Michael Jimenez said his agency took possession of the narcotics and is currently investigating the incident. No suspects or vessel has been identified in connection with the marijuana.
Law enforcement authorities seized marijuana found off the coast of Orange County, California this afternoon, he said, reported CBS. Seizing the narcotics is the result of the joint efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities working together within one regional coordinating group to stop illegal maritime activity along the Southern California coastline.
Jimenez said it was unusual to see so much marijuana in the floating in the water.
At other events, they've dumped the bales to get rid of weight if they're being chased, he said, reported the Orange County Register. 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.
Authorities said as they crack down on smugglers transporting narcotics on across the border, they are finding more instances of maritime transgression. In 2008, officers responded to 50 cases of smuggling across a body of water. Last year, however, the number jumped to 113.
As US Customs and Border Protection become more effective along the land border we expect illegal activity is going to go somewhere and one of the places we've seen is a lot of illegal activity pushed out to water, US Customs and Border Protection Jaquiline Wasiluk told KPCC.