25 Arrested Rancho Palos Verdes Panga Bust

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RANCHO PALOS VERDES (KTLA) –panga-pic– About two dozen suspected illegal immigrants were arrested after a panga boat was spotted off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes.

The 25-foot panga was spotted around 5:15 a.m. Monday about 200 yards off the coast of Abalone Cove. It made landfall by about 5:45 a.m.

Panga boats are commonly used to smuggle drugs or immigrants into the United States.

KTLA’s Sky5 was overhead as dozens of people were handcuffed right off Rancho Palos Verdes Drive South.

Authorities arrested 25 people, 19 men and six women, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials said.

They were searching for additional suspects who may have swam to shore and escaped.

Two vans, one registered to a Ventura medical transportation firm, were found parked near the beach. Authorities said the vans were possible pickup vehicles.

The incident follows a fatal encounter last week off Santa Barbara in which a Coast Guardsman was killed when two suspected smugglers rammed his vessel with their panga.

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1 Comment

  • ronaldo59

    L.A. Times reports there have been some 500 maritime smuggling incidents off our coast just in the last two years, including the terrible murder of the Coast Guard officer. Why isn't our govt. putting pressure on Mexico to better patrol their own waters? Why are we always being victimized and having to deal with foreign criminals when we already have enough low-life losers here at home?