Smuggling boat seized at Torrey Pines

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Federal agents intercepted a small fishing boat packed with more than a quarter of a ton of marijuana off the coast of northern San Diego County early today and arrested a group of suspected drug smugglers.

Panga Torrey PinesU.S. Border Patrol personnel began tracking the skiff’s course in the ocean about 3 a.m., according to USBP public affairs. An hour later, it landed on a beach near Seventh Street in Del Mar, where agents took a single occupant into custody and discovered 878 pounds of cannabis in 41 bundles inside the vessel.

The sound of helicopters brought in to help with the search awoke area residents.

“The helicopters started up around 4 a.m., and you usually don’t hear them circling for hours on end like that, so I kind of made the assumption that something was going on,” one man told Fox 5.

During the search of the area, border officers found two vehicles believed to be connected with the smuggling attempt and arrested 10 people who apparently had been waiting on shore to pick up the haul of marijuana, authorities said.

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