Boat carrying a ton of marijuana runs aground

A sailboat carrying 80 to 90 bales of marijuana ran aground in Newport Beach Monday after the U.S. Coast Guard attempted to stop and board it, authorities said.

During a routine patrol, a Coast Guard crew saw a sailboat entering Newport Harbor near Balboa Island and decided to board it for an equipment check, authorities said.

As Coast Guard officials approached at 1 a.m., the sailboat veered right and came ashore at Ruby Avenue and South Bayfront.

Two people, described only as white males, jumped from the boat and ran away.

A search of the boat turned about about a ton of marijuana valued at $1 million, said Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino said no one was in custody by 2 p.m.

The Coast Guard discovered the marijuana and handed it and the boat to Homeland Security Investigation’s Los Angeles Border Enforcement Security Task force, officials said.

“We do safety boardings randomly on vessels,” said Coast Guard spokesman Seth Johnson. “It just so happened that they had a lot of pot on board.”

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30