The boat, not registered in the United States and with no passengers aboard, was spotted by a hiker around 10:30 a.m. as it was sinking in a fishing cove near the Point Vicente Interpretive Center and Terranea Resort. One bale of marijuana was found in the water and another washed onto the rocks along with rain jackets and fuel cans.
The discovery came just two months after a similar abandoned skiff washed ashore on a Palos Verdes Estates beach. Authorities said that boat could have been used as part of a drug- or people-smuggling operation from Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection towed the boat to Marina del Rey to continue the investigation. The estimated worth of the marijuana was about $144,000.
On May 13, federal immigration officials opened an investigation when a 25-foot skiff was found abandoned on the rocky beach at Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes Estates. In San Diego on June 23, federal agents arrested a 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman on suspicion of smuggling more than 240 pounds of marijuana inside a boat at Shelter Island. On March 1, Border Patrol agents arrested two suspected drug traffickers when they landed in a panga on a Del Mar beach. Agents had monitored the boat after spotting the panga off the coast of La Jolla with two men aboard and no lights at 3 a.m. The boat contained 26 plastic-wrapped bundles of pot on the boat, weighing about 399 pounds. On Dec. 28, eight to 10 people came ashore on a panga at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach. They took off life jackets and clothes and disappeared.
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