press release - 05171302

Panga Boat Recovered

Panga Boat Recovered


Evidence of Drug Smuggling

Evidence of Drug Smuggling

Another Panga Boat Discovered at Arroyo Quemada Beach

Arroyo Quemada Beach - May 17th, 2013

At 8:15 a.m. this morning, May 17th, a resident discovered a “Panga” Boat on Arroyo Quemada Beach, north of Refugio State Beach.  Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies, along with Narcotics Investigators, responded and located a 35-foot “Panga” style boat on the beach.  Investigators found items of potential evidence inside and on the ground adjacent to the boat, including clothing, fuel containers and other miscellaneous trash type items.  Although no marijuana was discovered in the boat or surrounding area, plastic packaging commonly used for marijuana smuggling was found near the boat and heading up the path to the roadway. 

Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit Copter 1 assisted with searching the surrounding area for suspects and evidence. Representatives from California State Parks, Homeland Security Investigations, California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene.

This is the second “Panga” discovered on Arroyo Quemada beach in recent months.  The last one was found on March 17th along with more than 2,000 lbs. of marijuana wrapped in plastic bales concealed in bushes near the roadway. 

The Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Bureau is working with Homeland Security to investigate the recent perceived increase of “Panga Boat” activity in our area.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to be aware of the ever-growing problem and to please contact Law Enforcement immediately if they see any suspicious boats in the ocean off Santa Barbara County or any suspicious activity on Highway 101 where there is coastal/beach access.

For all Media Inquiries Please Contact:

PIO Kelly Hoover

Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

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