Just because smugglers evade patrols off the Pacific coast, they are not home free.
A U.S. Coast Guard crew spotted a panga at Arroyo Quemada Beach in southern Santa Barbara County, California, at dawn Saturday.
A panga is an open boat favored by Costa Rican fishermen.
This boat probably came from México rather than further south, but its presence was enough to attract official attention. Smugglers use this type of boat to evade detention in the night.
In this case, the boat and its crew of three were reported hauling 3,000 pounds of marijuana. About 15 persons were seen loading bales of marijuana on three separate vehicles. Law enforcement quickly rounded up the vehicles after they left the beach. In all, 13 persons were detained.