Coast Guard Interdicts Suspected Drug Smugglers

LOS ANGELES - The Coast Guard and Customs & Border Protection worked together to interdict a panga vessel suspected of smuggling narcotics near Santa Rosa Island, Calif., late Monday  morning.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach received a report of a suspicious vessel from a Good Samaritan and launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles to investigate.  A 45-foot Response Boat Medium from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor was dispatched and CBP Office of Air and Marine launched a Black Hawk helicopter and a fixed-wing Multi-role Enforcement aircraft.  Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach also dispatched a 45 RBM to assist.

Leveraging their new 45 RBM and its advanced capabilities, the Channel Islands Harbor boat crew was able to successfully interdict the vessel and take the two suspects onboard into custody.

With the help of CBP Office of Air and Marine  and Coast Guard spotters from the air, the Channel Islands Harbor boat crew was also able to recover approximately 50 bales of suspected marijuana.

The two suspects will be turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations for processing and presentation to the U.S. Attorney's office for federal prosecution.

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