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Three suspected drug smugglers arrested off Malibu

April 25, 2012 |  6:53 am


Three suspected drug smugglers have been arrested in a panga boat off Malibu following a brief ocean chase, officials said.

Lifeguards notified sheriff's deputies around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday that there was a suspicious boat about 50 feet off Latigo Beach, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Stephanie Shrout.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was contacted and a Coast Guard vessel intercepted the panga boat about two miles out to sea, officials said. Three men were taken into custody.

Officials believe the suspects and the boat came from Mexico, KTLA-TV reported. Investigators have not confirmed exactly what was found on the boat, which was towed into Marina del Rey late Tuesday night.

Investigators say panga boats are being used increasingly to smuggle people and drugs into the U.S. from Mexico. About a month ago, more than a dozen illegal immigrants were arrested after their panga boat was spotted off El Segundo.


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