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It is Marijuana Smuggling Season at Sea

Audio

Aired 4/20/09

Coast Guard officials in San Diego it's the season for smuggling marijuana up the coast of Mexico's Baja California. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

US Coast Guard boats have fished more than 14,000 pounds of marijuana out of the ocean off the coast of northern Baja California since November.

Guy Pierce is a Coast Guard Commander.

He says agents have found five boats all about 160 miles south of San Diego.

Pierce says the uptick its last fall's marijuana harvest making its way to market.

Guy PIerce: It roughly corresponds to the amount of time it takes for them to finish harvesting the marijuana, process it and package it for trans-shipment. Like everybody else, the bad guys like to take the holidays off to be at home with their families.

Pierce says people onboard the boats ditch the marijuana over the side as the Coast Guard approaches. Then, he says, they make a beeline back into Mexican waters so the Coast Guard can't nab them.

Pierece says the Mexican Navy has stopped three of the boats.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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