11 held, marijuana seized from boat near Gaviota

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) – Santa Barbara County authorities say 11 people have been arrested and 3,000 pounds of marijuana have been seized after a panga boat was tracked to the Gaviota coast.

The county Sheriff’s Department says numerous agencies responded when the Coast Guard reported at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday that the panga was heading to the area between Gaviota and El Capitan state beaches.

With the help of a Coast Guard helicopter’s lights, eight people hiding in brush were arrested around 2 a.m.

The panga loaded with packaged marijuana was also located, and three more suspects were detained on a beach around 8 a.m.

The operation involved federal customs, immigration and homeland security agents, as well as state parks and University of California police and California Highway Patrol officers.

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