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20 Arrested, More Than 5,000 Pound Of Marijuana Seized From Smuggling Operation On South Coast

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)
Some of the more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana seized from a panga boat on the Santa Barbara County coastline

Authorities say they've arrested 20 people and seized more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana as the result of a smuggling operation on the South Coast.

The Coast Guard notified Santa Barbara County, state, and federal law enforcement officers they were tracking a panga boat heading up the coast from Mexico early Thursday morning.  Officers say they intercepted the smugglers as they were unloading the boat a half mile from Gaviota, near Hollister Ranch.

In addition to the 5300 pounds of dried marijuana seized, more than 40 gallons of marijuana crude oil was confiscated.  The arrestees were turned over to Department of Homeland Security agents, who took them to a federal detention facility.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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