Boat carrying up to 1,500 pounds of drugs lands in Del Mar

DEL MAR (KUSI) — Three people were arrested and about 30 large bundles of suspected drugs were seized when a small smuggling boat landed on the beach Monday morning in Del Mar, the U.S. Border Patrol reported.

The Panga boat was first spotted about 2:30 a.m. off the waters of Torrey Pines State Beach and landed on the sand below Fourth Street in Del Mar, USBP public-affairs Agent Tekae Michael said. Three people aboard the boat were detained and the 30 bundles were being tested Monday morning to confirm they were illegal narcotics.

Border Patrol agents said the bundles contained marijuana and weighed between 30 and 50 pounds each, meaning the total weight of the drugs was between 900 and 1,500 pounds. The station showed video of the large bundles in black trash bags filling the beds of two Border Patrol pickups.

Pangas like the one discovered this morning are a favorite smuggling vessel used by drug traffickers. described the boat, which features an outboard motor, as a low-cost vessel that is versatile "and can perform in both shallow and deep water."

Pangas have been used often in recent years to smuggle both drugs and people onto San Diego County beaches from Mexico. 

Categories: Local San Diego News