Police in Northern California said they found about 1,000 pounds of weed that someone left while unloading it from a boat beached in San Mateo County.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department said federal and local investigators found the marijuana May 12 in a panga boat and a sport utility vehicle parked on the Pescadero State Beach. There were 42 bundles of pot, each weighing up to 30 pounds.
Andrew Munoz, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the smuggler or smugglers who were loading the weed apparently gave up after the SUV became stuck in the sand.
The boat was 30 feet, twin-engine, the type commonly used to smuggle marijuana from Mexico up the California coast. Authorities have made several major weed seizures involving panga boats in recent years.
Last September, 18 people were arrested and more than 2,000 pounds of cannabis seized when a panga boat came ashore in Santa Barbara County. Police stopped a truck that was also part of the smuggling operation, though everyone in the vehicle got away.
Earlier that year, $4 million worth of marijuana was found washed ashore near Santa Barbara. A panga boat was found abandoned nearby.
In 2012, a U.S. Coast Guardsman died when a panga boat rammed his vessel. The Coast Guard was investigating the panga boat for marijuana smuggling at the time, and two suspects were ultimately arrested. Some weed was also seized.
No arrests were made in May, and authorities didn’t say whether they knew who owned the SUV.