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Local News

Feds Nab Alleged Drug Smugglers Near San Miguel Island

Federal authorities seized a boat carrying a large amount of marijuana — and took three people into custody — just north of San Miguel Island on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection intercepted the small boat, which had 35 large bundles of marijuana and three men on board, said Coast Guard Spokesman Adam Eggers.

Customs and Border Patrol officials spotted the vessel from an aircraft, and began tracking it on its northern route, and the Coast Guard sectors in San Diego and Los Angeles-Long Beach were notified, as well as the Maritime Coordination Center based in Long Beach, Eggers said.

Law enforcement in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo were also put on alert, along with the California Highway Patrol, and began conducting increased shoreline patrols in the area.

The boat was located by an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at 9:55 a.m., and was stopped in the water after apparently running out of fuel.

“A team from the Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin conducted the boarding and detained the men,” Eggers said.

The men will be taken into custody by a boat crew from the Coast Guard Station at the Channel Islands Harbor, and that crew will also take possession of the bundles of marijuana and the boat, Eggers said.

The suspects, and the evidence, will be turned over to U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations special agents at an undisclosed location for possible prosecution, Eggers said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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