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Jan 15, 2014 8:44 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Super panga comes ashore with 4,000 pounds of drugs

Investigators say a super panga boat was discovered on a beach in Cayucos Wednesday. The term "super" refers to the size and load that comes off these boats commonly referred to as pangas, used for smuggling drugs.

This is only the second super panga to show up in San Luis Obispo County.

Bird watcher and photographer Marlin Harms stumbled upon a rare find Wednesday and it wasn't a long lost bird species.

"The first thing I saw as I looked down the bluffs was a huge pile of big sacks," said Harms.

What he found was 4,000 pounds of marijuana.

"But I was actually kind of anxious to not stick around because I didn't know if there were any people around," said Harms.

And rightfully so, say Sheriff's deputies, because the suspects who fled the scene most likely work for the dangerous and notorious Mexican drug cartels.

The Sheriff's Office calls them super pangas because they range from 45 to 55 feet rather than the typical 30 foot boat. Mounted on the back of the boats are two massive engines. Each $80,000 engine has nearly 350 horse power.

They say bigger boats means bigger loads coming ashore and more illegal drugs on the streets.

"I've heard of it up by Cambria, San Simeon, but this is pretty close to my home in Morro Bay," said Harms.

The drugs found Wednesday are valued around $10 million depending on the quality of the drugs.

Deputies say the pangas originate from Northern Baja Mexico and can get to the Central Coast in a day or two.

Deputies are still searching for any suspects involved in Wednesday's smuggling attempt.

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