June 18 – Santa Barbara County
Yet another panga boat full of drugs made its way from Mexico to the shores of California’s Gold Coast on June 15th. According to Drew Sugars, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Public Information Officer, the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau Narcotic Unit had been conducting an ongoing investigation into the recent spate of Mexican panga boats discovered abandoned on County beaches.
“Detectives worked with our SWAT team as well as the Highway Patrol on this arrest,” Sugars reported to the media, indicating that additional resources from California State Parks at El Capitan State Beach were also brought into play. The suspects were observed at dawn on the 15th off-loading approximately 1,400 pounds of marijuana on the beach just south of Gaviota campground. “That’s a lot of marijuana,” Sugars noted, indicating that the contraband seized has a street value of more than $4 million.
A total of six men were arrested: Habel Herrera, 43, of Mexico, David Arredondo, 26, of Compton, Martin Guzman, 25, of Compton, Marco Rangel, 30, of Mexico, Maricio Britio, 21, of Compton, and Deiber Chavez, 26, of Los Angeles. All six men were all taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara Jail on charges of transportation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, and are currently held without bail pending determination of immigration status.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking, SBSD Narcotics Unit
keyt.com: Panga “Sting” Nets Six Arrests
vcstar.com: 6 arrested, 1,400 pounds of marijuana seized at Santa Barbara County beach