Bales of marijuana near Arroyo Quemada Beach

Authorities discovered a panga boat that had been abandoned along the shore at Arroyo Quemada Beach by Refugio early Sunday morning, this one bearing about 2,500 to 3,000 pounds of baled marijuana. Most of the pot — worth an estimated $4 million on the street — had been transported from the boat to an access road about one quarter-mile from the boat.

Panga on Arroyo Quemada Beach

David Wales, an investigator with the Department of Homeland security, speculated that “something must have spooked” the crew offloading the marijuana, as well as the group coming to pick it up. No arrests have been made, no suspects detained. “They got out of Dodge,” Wales said.

The boat came equipped with two outboard engines, but one of the engines shrouds, he noted, had been knocked off, perhaps by the waves. Wales said the boat and bales were discovered early Sunday morning and the Sheriff’s Office was notified at 7:30 am. “There were no people in the vicinity when we arrived,” he said.

Last week, authorities discovered a damaged panga boat and about $2.7 million worth of marijuana on a beach located on Vandenberg Air Force Base.


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