An outboard-powered fishing boat that became disabled off the coast of Columbia was towed to Long Beach where federal authorities recovered 223 pounds of cocaine and arrested two people, authorities said today.
The panga-style boat became disabled July 4 and its occupants flagged down a good Samaritan en route to Long Beach, according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.
The crew of the ship towing the disabled boat contacted the Coast Guard as they approached Long Beach Saturday and noted drugs were possibly aboard the boat, Coast Guard officials said.
A search revealed narcotics were hidden in a false bottom of the boat, officials said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers took the two people from the disabled boat and seized the drugs and the vessel, officials said.
“This operation exemplifies the outstanding interagency collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard and CBP,” said Lt. Commander Keith Robinson, chief of law enforcement at Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.