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Three men arrested after panga found with stacks of marijuana

Three men are in custody on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs into the country after authorities found their panga-style boat washed ashore Monday in Malibu and loaded with as much as a ton of marijuana, authorities said.

The men, whose identities haven’t been released, could make their first court appearances Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley wrote in an email Monday.

Leo Carrillo State Park rangers found the 30-foot boat about 8 a.m. on a portion of the shore in unincorporated Malibu. Gasoline leaked from the vessel and rangers detected a marijuana odor coming from bundles of the drug that filled nearly the entire length of the boat.

Rangers detained one suspect at the scene. The two fled but were soon caught.

The seizure comes after 17 people were detained Friday when a panga was spotted bobbing in the water off Palos Verdes Peninsula. No drugs were found on the boat, authorities said.

But from October to March 7, ICE reported 85 maritime smuggling incidents involving methamphetamine and marijuana along the coast from San Diego to Monterey counties.


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