California News

Jul 17, 2012 11:31 AM by Associated Press

Smuggler gets 6 years for half-ton of pot in panga

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Mexican drug smuggler has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for bringing a half-ton of marijuana to the United States in a panga boat found west of Malibu.

Los Angeles prosecutors say 29-year-old Pedro Lopez-Rocha will be deported to Mexico after serving the sentence imposed on Monday.

The Ventura County Star ( ) says Customs and Border Protection agents arrested Lopez-Rocha and two other Mexican men on Jan. 15 after the panga landed along Pacific Coast Highway in the Deer Creek area of Ventura County.

They were unloading more than 45 bales of marijuana.

Investigators say Lopez sent a text message to someone in Los Angeles notifying him that the panga from Ensenada was coming ashore.

The two codefendants were sentenced earlier to a year in prison.

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