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Drug ring may be behind $4 million in pot found on beach

March 18, 2013 |  5:14 pm

Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials released images of the seized boat and marijuana as part of their news release about the seizure.Santa Barbara County officials are investigating after $4 million in marijuana was found on a local beach.

It was the latest of several marijuana drops on beaches along the Central Coast, and officials said drug smugglers have been increasingly using small boats to move their products.

An estimated 2,000 pounds of marijuana wrapped in plastic bags was found Sunday at Arroyo Quemada Beach. Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials discovered "an apparently abandoned 30-foot panga-style boat with two outboard engines and more than 20 fuel containers on board," the Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

"Sheriff’s detectives located a significant amount of evidence that was consistent with marijuana smuggling activities, including trash and debris that was strewn about the beach and nearby coastal access trails," officials said in the statement.

It was the second big pot discovery this month in Santa Barbara County. Earlier this month, marijuana with an estimated value of at least $1 million was discovered near a boat that had crashed on a beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The marijuana was found near an overturned boat north of Wall Beach and was removed by Homeland Security investigators.

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Photo: Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials released images of the seized boat and marijuana as part of their news release about the seizure. Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
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