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Panga Boat Landing and Arrests
updated: Dec 12, 2012, 11:54 AM

Source: Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department

Gaviota Coast-At a little past midnight (00:15), the Santa Barbara County Emergency Communications Center was contacted by the United States Coast Guard and advised that they were tracking a Panga Boat between San Nicholas Island and the Santa Barbara coastline and it appeared that the boat was headed to the area between El Capitan State Beach and Gaviota State Beach. Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Personnel from all our Stations including the three Sheriff's Office Patrol Canines along with personnel from the California Highway Patrol, U.C.S.B. Police Department and State Parks responded and assisted personnel from the United States Coast Guard, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) and United States Customs and Border Protection - Border Patrol.

As several units reached the area of Hollister Ranch Road, a search of the coastline was conducted with the assistance of a Coast Guard helicopter that utilized lights to illuminate the coastline. Soon thereafter, at approximately 2:00 A.M. a total of eight (8) subjects were taken into custody after being found hiding in the brush. Five of the arrestees gave Southern California addresses and three advised that they were from Mexico.

As law enforcement personnel were checking the beach for additional suspects, the now unoccupied beached Panga Boat was located containing a large amount of packaged marijuana weighing approximately 3,000 pounds. All of the detained subjects, narcotics and evidence as well as any further investigation were turned over to HIS Special Agents.

This morning shortly before 8:00 A.M. (07:55) one of the Sheriff's Office Helicopters while conducting a search of the area for additional evidence and suspects located three additional suspects walking on the beach. The Helicopter landed and Sheriff's Deputies took three additional suspects into custody and held them until Sheriff's Patrol Deputies responded and transported them to a holding facility where they were released to Homeland Security Investigators.

Additional information may be released by Virginia Kice, Western Regional Communications Director/Spokesperson, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), (949) 360-3096.


Breaking news this Wednesday morning, numerous law enforcement agencies are looking for suspects after a panga boat was found off our coast. (12/13/12)
1605 46

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 353299 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:11 PM

Looks like the local pot heads will be going through detox of THC, Toxic fertilizers and pesticides that are usually smoked on a regular basis...


 COMMENT 353302 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:14 PM

299 - that's a perfect explanation of why people should support local, organic weed!


 COMMENT 353305 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:16 PM

Many thanks to all agencies involved.well done and keep up the good work. From an appreciatve taxpayer.


 COMMENT 353307P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:18 PM

Ditto 302! It's kind of funny how many arguments from the anti-marijuana front are actually supportive of the other side when you break them down


 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:20 PM

3,000 lbs and 8 people seems to be a large load for that boat. Only 2 motors too, many have 4. Even with ground crew they appear to be over staffed. Unemployment does not appear to be a problem in Druglandia.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:22 PM

Nor is it a problem in Boozy Land.


 COMMENT 353319 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:42 PM

So you're a fastidious pothead? Great.


 COMMENT 353321 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:43 PM

i have not sampled seedy brown mexican weed since maybe........1981.

the best used to be from humboldt....but for years now its been local organic. no locals i know have touched the imported junk for literally decades.


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:45 PM

Mesarats, I counted 11 guys total including the three found the next day. I've been in pangas in Mexico, and 11 guys plus all that dope seems like too much, wonder if there might be another boat out there.... Doesn't exactly make me want to go camp at El Cap or Refugio.


 COMMENT 353327 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:54 PM

Yeah, I wonder what will happen if some of them come ashore armed and start commandeering campers, or carjacking for the get away? Maybe then this will get the attention it deserves.


 COMMENT 353330 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 12:57 PM

Again!? These guys aren't very smart!


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 01:40 PM

Smart enough to kill a member of the Coast Guard.


 COMMENT 353342 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 01:43 PM

Why would you go through all this hassle to bring that garbage into Ca where the best weed in the world is grown and readily available?? Kinda like bringing dirty sand to a pristine beach.


 COMMENT 353346 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 01:57 PM

How does killing a Coast Guard officer make someone smart?


 COMMENT 353371 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 02:25 PM

342 - Because once its on shore they can distribute it to far away havens of right wing idealism like Kansas or Utah... and those good folks dont know what they're missing.


 COMMENT 353386 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 02:58 PM

Great job local and Feds; It was nice to see that the local Coast Guard Cutter was deployed- Saw it coming back into the harbor about 730 this AM. KEEP AT IT!


 COMMENT 353388 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 03:10 PM

one of those pangas will eventually eat a couple of shells, courtesy of the Blackfin....just a matter of time.


 COMMENT 353409 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 03:50 PM

Not sure if it is about being smart or dumb, but these are definitely not nice people that care about you or your children. I am guessing probably fisherman hired(or maybe even forced) by cartels down in good old Mexico to make a run for them. Sooner or later the desperation will start to increase and these guys will be armed, and or their buddies waiting for them on the beach will be. Hopefully law enforcement is on the ball. So far it seems law enforcement has been pretty good with the learning curve in figuring out their methods.


 COMMENT 353434 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 05:26 PM

LOL! "organic weed..." ALL growers are using enhancements to crank up the production value and THC levels of weed... And of course it's SO healthy for your lungs and brain cells... (Now waiting for the retort about alcohol...) HaHa!


 COMMENT 353436 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 05:38 PM

Anyone watch the Weed show on the History channel a week or so ago?

Lots of interviews with growers in Humboldt and the area NOT wanting it to be legal cause their crops will loose value and anyone could grow their own.


 COMMENT 353437 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 05:40 PM

409 you know nothing about the drug issues that face our coast every day. They ARE armed. They may not have been in this instance, but the people who run drugs via panga boats and across borders via sea are absolutely armed.


 COMMENT 353440 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 05:44 PM

299/434, do you know every single pot grower? Because I don't know else you could make a statement about ALL growers... :)


 COMMENT 353491 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 07:54 PM

The USA is going to pot!


 COMMENT 353548 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 07:29 AM

Finally the news says the key word "Hollister". The Hollister Ranch is where miles of sandy beaches and half a dozen places to drive right on to the beach exist. And armed guards keep the curious eyes of the public miles away. A place where a parcel of land costs millions. Now, finally, will the cops get the dots lined up?


 COMMENT 353586 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 09:13 AM

437, hmmm funny I said they will be armed and guess what: It came out in the news last night they were armed! I would be interested to hear your thoughts on my incorrectness and what the real story is. I think that it would take a bit of skill to navigate a panga up here at night with no lights packed to the brim with reefer. So they are probably NOT fisherman? No cartel's involved? Enlighten me Master,




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