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Report: Ton of marijuana seized, 7 arrested off Calif. coast

More than a ton of marijuana was seized and seven people arrested when U.S. border agents backed by a Blackhawk helicopter intercepted a sailboat and another small vessel in the sea off California’s Santa Catalina Island, according to a report.

The Los Angeles Times said four Mexican citizens on a panga boat, which was carrying the drugs, were arrested along with three U.S. citizens on the sailboat.

A loaded shotgun, a .40-caliber pistol and night vision equipment also were found, the paper said.

“We are beginning to see this as a more common tactic: Smugglers attempting to move contraband from open hull panga boats to recreational vessels,” Keley Hill, director of Marine Operations for CBP in San Diego, said in a statement issued to the Times.

“The smugglers think that when the recreational vessel moves in to shore, it will blend in with legitimate boating traffic off of the Southern California coastline and make it much more difficult for us to detect illegal activity,” Hill added.

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