Panga Boat Arrests
updated: Jan 08, 2014, 7:53 PM
Source: Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Nature of Incident: 14 Arrested After Panga Boat Comes Ashore Near Ventura
Report Number: 14-513
Location: Seacliff @ US 101 - North of the City of Ventura
Date & Time: Jan. 8, 2014 @ 3:10 am
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff's Office / Santa Barbara County
Sheriff's Office / California Highway Patrol / United States Coast Guard /
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations / Customs
and Border Protection
A sheriff's deputy patrolling along the coast north of Ventura disrupted a
smuggling operation involving at least 14 people and approximately 2,000 pounds
The deputy drove up to a remote area as suspects were loading large bales of
marijuana into a recreational vehicle. The cargo had already been off loaded
from a panga boat that had been steered onto the sand from the ocean. The
suspects scattered as soon as they saw the patrol vehicle. The deputy requested
assistance and soon had additional deputies and officers from a variety of
local, state, and federal agencies assisting in the search for the smugglers.
After several hours of searching by law enforcement officers on the ground, in
two helicopters, and with K-9's, 14 suspects were located and arrested. Of the
fourteen, all were men, and one was a male juvenile. Roughly half the group is
claiming United States citizenship, while the rest are undocumented.
The RV containing the marijuana was seized, along with the boat. The
investigation is being handled by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, and the
case will be presented to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office for the
filing of criminal charges.
ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents are continuing to investigate
the case for possible federal violations.
People living along the coast and visiting our beaches need to realize that it
is an international border. Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving
boats coming ashore with people engaging in human trafficking or narcotics
smuggling should notify authorities immediately.
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