Ton of Pot Found in Boat Off Manhattan Beach

The fishing boat filled with pot was found before dawn off Manhattan Beach, officials said

Two Mexican nationals were being questioned on Saturday in connection with the discovery of nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana found on a fishing boat in the waters off Manhattan Beach in southwestern Los Angeles, federal officials said.

The boat was discovered at 2:45 a.m. at El Porto Beach, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Federal agents were conducting routine surveillance operations in the El Porto Beach area and saw a suspected smuggling boat approaching the shoreline, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said.

Agents found two men hiding behind a sand dune and took them into custody for questioning, Haley said.

Video footage taken at the location shows at least nine large black duffel bags or suitcases sitting in a beach parking lot near where authorities were conducting their investigation.

Saturday's discovery is one in a rising number of cases in recent years in which suspected smugglers use fishing boats -- called pangas -- from Mexico to ferry drugs and people into the United States, authorities said.

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