Suspected smugglers beach panga boat near San Simeon

November 28, 2012

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies discovered a panga boat early Tuesday morning beached north of Piedras Blancas lighthouse outside of San Simeon.

Around 4:15 a.m. deputies noticed an open gate to a field off Highway 1 and north of the lighthouse. When they arrived at the beach, they found the panga boat, as well as five men.

The men fled by foot and the deputies chased, catching one after a scuffle, which slightly injured a deputy.

A Coast Guard helicopter, a CHP plane and the Sheriff’s K9 unit joined in the search for the other four who fled south by foot. Authorities detained a second suspect about a mile away from the scene, but the remaining three escaped.

The deputies did not discover any narcotics on the boat, nor did they press any narcotic related charges. But, the Sheriff’s Office says that the panga is consistent with narcotic smuggling operations.

Deputies arrested Luis Osiel Gonzalez, 23, for felony obstruction of a peace officer and battery on a peace officer and Juan Pedro Gonzalez, 23, for giving false identification to an officer. Juan Pedro Gonzalez is currently on immigration hold.

The boat is now in the possession of the Coast Guard. It is about 28 feet long with a single engine. Deputies also found approximately 30 cans of fuel floating in the water next to the boat.


13 Comments

  1. obispan says:

    A lot of noise in the comments section about law enforcement resources and a small boat with pot. That’s a legalization argument, until such time; can you imagine what might have happened if a couple walking on the beach at odd hours had run into them? If you won’t consider that scenario; is the boat’s engine EPA compliant and do they have on-board waste storage facilities?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    • Bert says:

      There was no pot. And no, I cant imagine what may have happened if a couple, at 4:15 am in a remote stretch of beach had run in to ‘them’. Probably nothing. Not all boaters are violent.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

    • hardie868 says:

      WHO GET GETS THE PANGAS? They are heavily laid up Fiberglas and almost bullet proof..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Princess1 says:

    This panga was different than previous ones found in the area.This one had 30 containers full of gas. Why ? Was it going to make a return trip to mexico ? Or perhaps meet and re-fuel another panga offshore….continueing its way up the coast ? Perhaps meet up with a mothership to fill up with drugs and/or people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. The Gimlet Eye says:

    When in doubt, they work for the government. See below:

    TSA agents, cops arrested in drug trafficking case

    Officers transported tens of thousands of oxycodone pills from Florida to New York and Connecticut, feds say

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44502230/ns/local_news-hartford_ct/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. Bert says:

    They had a hell of a lot of resources and people out there for a boat with gas tanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Yeah, the CIA and the banksters are certainly not lacking in resources.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  5. racket says:

    Isn’t saying “panga boat” is kind of like saying “dingy boat,” or “tugboat boat” ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

    • MeMyselfandI says:

      Panga boats are common fishing boats in Baja as well as in Central America. As small as they appear they can hold quite a lot of cargo

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

      • racket says:

        Right.

        But aren’t they called “pangas,” much like you call a dinghy a dinghy, not a “dinghy boat.” Or a launch a launch, or a runabout a runabout. Not a “launch boat,” or a “runabout boat.”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  6. IronHub says:

    Wowsers! Deputies find a rowboat!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      Rowboat with a 350 HP outboard. Pangas aren’t normally rowed anyways.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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