Suspected drug traffickers caught after chase
By City News Service
Two suspected drug traffickers in a small motorboat full of marijuana led federal agents on an ocean chase from the La Jolla area to near the Orange County line early Aug. 6 before being captured.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in a patrol aircraft spotted the skiff traveling to the north without required navigational lights about 12:45 a.m., then noticed that it was loaded with numerous suspicious-looking bales, CBP spokesman Ralph DeSio said.
The personnel alerted a federal interceptor boat patrolling in the area about the possible in-progress smuggling run, and the government vessel caught up to the suspects near Del Mar, he said.
The men aboard the skiff fled from the officers along the northern reaches of the San Diego County coast until the agents managed to stop them about 3:30 p.m., roughly 12 miles southwest of Laguna Beach.
The personnel arrested the two Mexican nationals and impounded 38 bales of cannabis piled on the motorboat. The haul of marijuana had an estimated street value of about $4.1 million, the spokesman said.
The suspects, whose names were not released, and the contraband were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Diego.