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Coast Guard seizes 8,500 pounds of pot in waters off Los Angeles

July 26, 2012 |  9:41 pm

Crew members on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter on Wednesday seized 8,500 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $7.7 million.

The pot was confiscated from a Mexican "panga" boat about 160 miles west of Los Angeles by crew members of the San Francisco-based cutter Aspen, the Coast Guard said. The drug was packaged in more than 340 bales.

"Law enforcement authorities have seen an increase in waterborne smuggling of illicit drugs, as well as illegal immigrants, from the U.S.-Mexico border as far north as Santa Barbara County," Capt. James Jenkins, commander of the Coast Guard’s Los Angeles/Long Beach sector, said in a statement.

The marijuana was taken to Terminal Island, where the bales were loaded Wednesday evening onto trucks.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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