Thirteen people were arrested after authorities discovered nearly 3,000 pounds of marijuana on a panga boat that landed on a beach north of Santa Barbara, according to the Department of Justice.
The Coast Guard first observed the panga boat at Arroyo Quemada Beach in southern Santa Barbara County early Saturday morning, according to court documents.
Authorities believe that three people were in the boat, and approximately 15 others were observed on shore helping to unload the bales of marijuana, a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.
Two vans and a pickup truck separately drove to the beach, and bales of marijuana were loaded into the pick-up and one of the vans, a release stated.
The vehicles departed at about the same time, but they went in separate directions, investigators said.
“One van, which was being used to transport the marijuana, was stopped in Camarillo; the second van, which was being used to transport people, was stopped when it returned to Arroyo Quemada Beach; and the pick-up, which was being used to transport marijuana, was stopped in Carpinteria,” the release stated.
Authorities arrested the following individuals: Hector Raul Bernal-Lara, 41; Ricardo Sanchez-Marquez, 36; Daniel Aguilar, 25; Mark Garcia, 23; Susana Tobaldo, 42; Kevin Tes, 22; Josh Rubio, 21; Alfonso Aguilar-Ballestros, 48; Jesus Moreno-Sepulveda, 31; Santiago Galvan-Carrillo, 48; Paul Armenta-Bueno, 34; Bryan Castro, 18; and Daniel Fernando-Huizar, 26.
The statutory maximum penalty for a violation of possession nearly 3,000 pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute it is life in prison.