The shores of Los Angeles County’s picturesque Santa Catalina Island got a visit from an unusual pack of ocean wildlife this week, when Southern California Coast Guards discovered 43 bobbing bales of cannabis floating in the Pacific Ocean.
According to the Navy Times, Coast Guard officers were led to the deep sea stash by an anonymous tip, eventually pulling out 1,300 pounds of weed with an estimated street value of more than $1 million.
What would you do if you saw 43 plastic-wrapped bales of marijuana floating in the ocean? Acting on a tip from a member of the public, the Coast Guard scooped $1 million in weed from the Pacific this week near Catalina Island. https://t.co/0MaTv0fNEP pic.twitter.com/TRl2208zQ5— Ventura County Star (@vcstar) August 15, 2019
Coast Guard officials say that they were able to corral the haul quickly, but could not identify where the drugs entered the water, or where the misplaced shipment of sea-weed packages originated from.
Despite California’s prolific pot industry, international drug smugglers have often used ocean routes to bring cannabis into the US from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. In the past year alone, at least two other loads of perfectly wrapped pot bales washed up on beaches in Florida and Alabama.
Even with the weed out of the ocean and off the street, Coast Guard officials told Navy Times that the investigation is still open, with teams from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service all working together to track down the origin of the pot.
“We appreciate the assistance provided by our partners and vigilant mariners in keeping these drugs off of our streets,” Coast Guard Lt. Andrew L. Fox told the Navy Times.
And if you happen to be heading out on your stepfather’s yacht from mainland LA to next month’s Catalina Wine Mixer (yes, it’s a real thing), make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any plastic-wrapped party favors.
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