Feds chase down boat loaded with pot off coast

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Coast Guard Patrol Boat Chases PangaSAN DIEGO — The Coast Guard intercepted an open Mexican fishing boat loaded with marijuana after a high-speed chase off the coast of San Diego over the weekend.

The boat, known as a panga, was spotted about about 5:40 p.m. by a Customs and Border Protection airplane patrolling the waters about 90 miles southwest of San Diego.

The Coast Guard sent a n MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from San Diego to monitor the panga, while  a 45-foot patrol boat and the Coast Guard Cutter Haddock headed out to intercept it. The patrol boat chased down the panga, firing warning shots before the smugglers eventually gave up.

The Coast Guard took the two men on the boat into custody and seized 31 bales of marijuana. The panga began taking on water as it was towed to San Diego, so the Coast Guard sank it.

The suspects and the marijuana were turned over the Customs and Border Protection for prosecution.

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