Sep 6, 2012 8:59 PM by Madelyn Monteath, KSBY News
San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office says they now have 20 suspects in custody after a panga boat was found off the coast of San Simeon. Initially, deputies believed there were 21 people involved but after investigating realized one suspect was not associated with the incident.
Sheriff's deputies and agents with State Parks and the Department of Fish and Game responded to the beach Thursday at 6:30 am. A California Highway Patrol plane and helicopter were also seen circling the area.
Deputies have confirmed 43 bales of marijuana were found on the boat. That's more than 3,000 pounds of drugs with an estimated street value of $4.5 million.
A witness said people on the beach, near the boat, were carrying the parcels to a motor home.
A white truck and a black sedan were also spotted and believed to be connected to the motor home.
Multiple traffic stops were held resulting in two suspects being arrested in the sedan and 12 suspects from the motor home.
After an extensive search with deputies and K-9 units multiple suspects were found hiding nearby in the brush.
In total, 20 suspects were taken into custody in connection.
Since the panga boat was found in such a remote location the CHP assisted in airlifted the marijuana off the beach using its helicopter.
The suspects are detained in the San Luis Obispo County Jail and will be transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angles on Friday.
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