As a result of increased drug smuggling patrols along the coast, Los Angeles Port Police were positioned over the weekend at Cabrillo Beach to seize approximately 1,200 pounds of marijuana valued at approximately USD 450,000.
On July 20, Los Angeles Port Police Marine Units observed a suspiciously bow-heavy 23-foot boat, along with a vehicle, trailer, and three individuals attempting to exit the public boat launch at Cabrillo Beach. Numerous vehicle and vessel violations led to a search of the vessel, which yielded nearly 1,200 pounds of seized marijuana.
Three men were detained and subsequently taken into custody by the Los Angeles Border Enforcement Security Task Force (LA BEST) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which assumed investigative responsibility.
Due to an uptick in attempted drug smuggling along the California coastline, particularly at boat launch ramps, Los Angeles Port Police have increased surveillance in these areas. In March 2017, Los Angeles Port Police seized approximately 500 pounds of marijuana in an unoccupied boat also at Cabrillo Beach.
The LA BEST is tasked with identifying, targeting, and reducing security vulnerabilities affecting the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex, Southern California coastline, and waterways and transportation infrastructure. LA BEST is comprised of personnel representing nine federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including ICE, HSI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard Criminal Investigations Service, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Port Police, Long Beach Police Department, and Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The Los Angeles Port Police is one of the nation’s few law enforcement agencies dedicated exclusively to seaport activities. Founded in 1911, the agency enforces federal, state, and local laws applicable to Port operations, including cargo protection, environmental impact investigations, vessel traffic control, and narcotics interdiction.
Sea News, July 24