Panga Beached near Hollister Leads to Arrest of 20

Twenty people were arrested after a panga boat beached at Gaviota containing 5,300 pounds of marijuana. | Credit: SBSO

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Twenty people braving bad weather were arrested a half mile north of Gaviota, near Hollister Ranch, as they unloaded 5,300 pounds of dried marijuana and 40 gallons of crude marijuana oil from a 50-foot panga boat. Santa Barbara authorities received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard at around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday that the boat was headed their way, and once the suspects were apprehended they were turned over to agents with the Department of Homeland Security. 

“The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office participates in the Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Stonegarden Program, which helps to offset costs incurred by the Sheriff’s Office while protecting our local communities from the impacts of transnational smuggling occurring along the Santa Barbara County coastline,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press statement.

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