Today in drug mishaps: a 20-foot boat carrying 80 pounds of marijuana capsized offshore near Four Mile Beach in Santa Cruz Monday morning. Investigators believe the seafaring drug runners set off from Mexico, but so far have been unable to locate any of the suspects who apparently bailed on the scene as quickly as possibly.
Emergency crews received calls about a boat in distress around 11 a.m. Monday morning at the popular surf break and nude beach. Cal Fire crews and State Park rangers on jet skis were the first to respond to the scene, but the boat's illicit cargo quickly alerted the local sheriff's office, California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. Despite all that manpower no arrests were made and no suspects have been identified.
"This is lower grade marijuana than we see in Santa Cruz," one Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy said of the schwaggy product, which was estimated to be worth about $96,000 total and may have been headed for destinations further away from California's lush emerald triangle. The boat was an open Panga-style number and was carrying several large containers of gasoline in addition to the stash of weed.
Four Mile beach was shut down while investigators worked the scene, but several surfers who were already in the water were stoked to be treated to a clean lineup without the usual crowds. "It's cool because there's no one out," said Duane Keyzer, who surfed while sheriff's deputies onshore stood guard on the cliffs with rifles. Another surfer stuck on dry land wondered what possessed the drug smugglers to try and brave such a rough shore break in their modest vessel.
KTVU was on the scene with the video report:
Authorities believe the wrecked boat may have been related to a similar drug running operation that was busted while unloading $2.1 million worth of Mexican weed on nearby Bonny Doon State Beach in July. It does not, however, appear to be in any way related to that monster two-pound joint confiscated by UC Santa Cruz Police back in April.