Marijuana Found Floating Near Marina del Rey

The estimated street value totalled about $500,000.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

    About $500,000 worth of marijuana was found floating off the coast of Marina del Rey Wednesday afternoon, police said.

    A boater alerted authorities to 30 bales, or 900 pounds, of marijuana about 6 miles west of the Marina del Rey harbor entrance, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement released Thursday.

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection took over the case from the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station, which assisted in the incident, the latest in a string of nautical marijuana.

    A fishing boat, called a panga, washed ashore in Malibu Saturday carrying about 1,500 pounds of marijuana, officials reported. The area was known as “Smugglers Cove.”

    It was unclear if Wednesday’s incident was connected to the one in Malibu.

    The number of so-called maritime smuggling incidents has spiked recently. Authorities speculated that beefed up enforcement along the U.S.-Mexican border has led to marijuana smuggling in waters further north along Southern California’s coast.

    At least 10 such incidents have occurred in SoCal waters in fiscal 2012 so far, authorities reported. There were 26 for all of fiscal 2011; nine in fiscal 2010; and two in 2009.

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