$1 million in pot discovered at Vandenberg Air Force Base
March 8, 2013
The United States Air Force received a million dollar donation Thursday in marijuana. [Lompoc Record]
Vandenberg Air Force Base personnel discovered an overturned panga boat and at least $1 million of marijuana around 1 p.m. Thursday just north of Wall Beach.
Operators of the boat had removed its engine and left the marijuana in dark-colored trash bags camouflaged with brush on top.
Air Force investigators searched the base, but could not identify any suspects or weapons. Investigators are also unaware of when the boat came ashore, but believe it may have landed Wednesday.
The Air Force raised the level of security on the base Thursday and conducted random searches. It turned over the investigation late in the day to the Department of Homeland Security, which took possession of the marijuana and the boat. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol are also participating in the investigation.
In recent months, panga boats have beached in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. The boat found Thursday was the first to appear at Vandenberg Air Force base, which spans 35 miles of coastline in northern Santa Barbara County.
“We have been advised of panga boats… north of the base, south of the base, but never before on our own property,” Col. Nina Armagno said.