Dec 12, 2012 3:56 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

3,000 pounds of marijuana found on panga boat

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies arrested a total of 11 people after discovering a panga boat containing 3,000 pounds of marijuana off the Gaviota coast early Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard had been tracking the panga boat between San Nicholas Island and the Santa Barbara coastline and alerted Santa Barbara County law enforcement just after midnight.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office personnel, including three K9 units, along with officers from the California Highway Patrol, UC Santa Barbara Police Department, and State Parks responded to the area of Hollister Ranch Road and searched the coastline under the lights of a Coast Guard helicopter.

At about 2 a.m., eight people were arrested. Of those arrested, five gave Southern California addresses and three said they were from Mexico.

Then, shortly before 8 a.m., a sheriff's helicopter conducting a search spotted three additional suspects. Deputies took the second group into custody and took the suspects to a holding facility where they were released to Homeland Security Investigators.

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