Boat Carrying Over a Ton of Marijuana Intercepted at County Line Last Week
• Authorities Are Now Regularly Patrolling West PCH
BY ANNE SOBLE
A 25-foot fishing boat allegedly carrying more than a ton of marijuana with an estimated street value as high as $1 million was intercepted off the coast of Malibu's western flank by federal agents last week.
The panga-like boat was preparing to come ashore north of Yerba Buena Road when agents from the Department of Homeland Security who are now routinely monitoring western Pacific Coast Highway observed the vessel in the pre-dawn darkness on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
An automobile and a large SUV were parked nearby on PCH and are believed to have been connected to the boat's arrival.
Four undocumented individuals on the boat and another six undocumented people associated with the two vehicles were apprehended. No additional information is available about possible charges, deportation proceedings or other aspects of the status of the 10 who were taken into custody.
Last September, an alleged drug smuggling boat was discovered in the same 90265 location. Crew and passengers that were taken into custody during that incident are still being processed.
Other recent forays into this area of western Malibu by drug-carrying vessels have drawn attention to its potential as a drop-off site for contraband as well as undocumented individuals seeking illegal entry into the United States.
With land access and South Coast shoreline locations under increased government surveillance, drug and human traffickers have been moving further up the coast.
However, an official in the regional office monitoring PCH said, "We are now watching for them there. Even though the coastline is so rugged in parts that smugglers can enter under cover of darkness without being seen by motorists on PCH, we are learning where to watch for them."