U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection crews disrupted an apparent drug smuggling operation approximately 30 miles west of San Simeon earlier this week.
A suspicious panga-type vessel was spotted by the aircrew of a CBP Office of Air and Marine Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) on routine patrol in the area Tuesday night. A Coast Guard C-130 aircrew also patrolling the area observed the suspected smugglers jettisoning items into the water.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Pike intercepted the panga and took three people into custody. They were brought ashore by another Coast Guard boat and turned over to Homeland Security Investigators.