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Marijuana found floating off US coast

Agence France-Presse
Four tons of marijuana worth more than US$3-M found floating off the coast of California

LOS ANGELES, United States of America – US coast guards have recovered more than four tons of marijuana — 160 bales — floating off the coast of California, in a mystery incident, police said Monday, May 21.

The drug haul, worth more than US$3 million on the street, was spotted Sunday, May 20, off the coast of Dana Point, some 96 km (60 miles) south of Los Angeles, said local sheriff’s office spokesman Joe Balicki.

A drug smuggling accident would be an obvious explanation, though the amount involved would have required a larger vessel than a small craft typically used to smuggle drugs around the nearby Mexican-US border.

“It kind of makes you wonder how it got there,” Balicki said, adding: “We didn’t have any reports of vessels in distress.” The bales, wrapped in plastic, were found bobbing in the sea about 15 miles (24 km) from shore.

The drugs were picked up by the US Border Patrol agents assisted by the US Coast Guard and Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol deputies, he added.

Border Patrol official Michael Jimenez, told the Orange County Register that large drug shipments are sometimes dropped overboard when smugglers have to flee from authorities.

“At other events, they’ve dumped the bales to get rid of weight if they’re being chased,” he said. “Generally in these cases we’re aware they’re being dumped.

“What’s more unusual is that the bales were floating with no boat in sight.” – Agence France-Presse

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