Police find four-ton marijuana raft adrift in Pacific Ocean
A $3.6m drugs haul has been discovered off California's coast, leaving authorities baffled
POLICE found four tons of marijuana floating in the ocean off the California coast on Sunday. The haul has baffled authorities, who found no suspects and no vessel when they searched the surrounding waters.
The 8,000lb drugs raft was discovered 15 miles off Dana Point, a seaside town 60 miles south of Los Angeles, after police received an anonymous tip off alerting them to what US Customs officials say is one of the largest maritime seizures of its kind in Californian waters.
It took three harbour boats to carry ashore the drugs, which were packaged in more than 180 bales and had an estimated street value of $3.6m, the LA Times reports.
A spokesperson for the US Coast Guard, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol said the scale of the discovery was unusual.
"It's not the first time that we have seen marijuana in the ocean. But typically it might be either just to lighten up a load because [the traffickers] are trying to abscond... or (they leave it) for someone else to pick it up. But to find such a large quantity like this is very rare," Jerry Conlin told Reuters.
Border Patrol spokesman Michael Jimenez told Borderland Beat, a blog which follows the Mexican drug cartel war: "Generally in these cases we're aware they're being dumped. What's more unusual is that the bales were floating with no boat in sight."
No suspects or trafficking vessels had been identified by authorities by yesterday. An investigation into the drug raft’s origin is ongoing. ·