Coast Guard nabs seafaring smugglers with bundles of pot

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Federal maritime patrols caught suspected seafaring smugglers with nearly three-quarters of a ton of marijuana in a vessel off the coast of Oceanside, authorities reported Wednesday.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operation aircraft spotted the suspicious boat shortly before 12:30 a.m. Sunday and notified the U.S. Coast Guard, according to USCG public affairs.

The Coast Guard sent its cutter Active and a San Diego-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to intercept the vessel. At about 5:15 a.m., the crew of the cutter boarded the vessel, finding 1,446 pounds of cannabis and arresting the two people aboard.

The suspects, whose names were not released, were transferred to the custody of the Homeland Security Investigations Marine Task Force pending prosecution in San Diego, officials said.

The 210-foot Active is homeported in Port Angeles, Washington.