Suspected smugglers beach panga boat near San Simeon
November 28, 2012
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.