Coast Guard busts 3 smugglers off San Simeon

May 24, 2015

coast guardU.S. Coast Guard crews disrupted an apparent drug smuggling operation off San Simeon on Tuesday, according to a press release.

During a routine patrol, a Coast Guard aircrew spotted a suspicious panga-type vessel about 30 miles from the shore. While the aircrew watched, the suspected smugglers began jettisoning items into the water.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Pike intercepted the panga and took three people into custody. They were brought ashore by another Coast Guard boat and turned over to Homeland Security Investigators.

“Teamwork and vigilance are the keys to stopping illegal activity along our coastal border,” said Capt. Gregory Burg, chief of response operations for the 11th Coast Guard District. “I’m proud of the keen actions of the aviators and sailors who detected and intercepted this panga.”

The Coast Guard is asking all coastal residents, visitors and boaters to report any suspicious activity or objects discovered at sea or along the shore by calling 911 or the Coast Guard with a VHF-FM marine-band radio.

“Our crews, the maritime community and the public can all contribute to stopping the efforts of transnational criminal organizations behind illegal smuggling through vigilance and quick reporting of suspicious activity,” Burg said.



  1. topper01 says:

    First, Congrats to the Coast Guard for doing their job.

    Second, to those critical of the Sheriff’s Dept for not participating, let me remind you they have no Jurisdiction past the Three Mile Limit.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  2. Gordo says:

    Before we criticize the sheriff’s department we should ask them if they participated in this operation at all. I know for a fact I saw the sheriff boat in Morro Bay Harbor on Tuesday afternoon and it picked up a coast guardsman, who went out on the boat. I don’t know where they went, but it is curious he would be on a joy riode wioth the sheriffs when this operation was being conducted.

    I also would like to know what happened to the items thrown overboard? Did they sink? Did they pick them up? Are they floating towards our shores?
    CCN needs to ask a few more questions to fill in the blanks.

    (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
    • Vagabond says:

      The sherifs authority ends at three miles offshore. If the San Luis Obispo Navy wants to do anything outside that they need to comply with Federal jurisdiction.

      (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
      • Vagabond says:

        Maybe they had to take on a qualified towing master which is required when towing a boat on the ocean in a non lifesaving situation. Oh, and does anybody realize that even with a top speed of 50+ mph the defender class boat would be reduced to about 30 or less MPH in a three foot sea? That’s right. it would have taken them an hour to get there. HaHaHaHa SLO you have been taken for a fantasy cruise!

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    Homeland security immediately released them into society with proper papers and a democratic voter registration.

    (20) 46 Total Votes - 33 up - 13 down
    • kettle says:

      Smugglers and the republicans want to keep weed illegal, so they would register gop all the way.

      So how long have you hated the US Coast Guard, achillesheal? Or did you save some bile for our service people on this special day?

      Ted Cruz would be proud.

      (-13) 41 Total Votes - 14 up - 27 down
    • zaphod says:

      projecting self loathing in service to your party. get a blog

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  4. jana says:

    So, if no drugs were recovered and the crew was captured 30 miles out at sea and they were not American citizens it sounds like the Coast Guard committed an act of piracy and kidnapping.

    Maybe that is why Sheriff Parkinson’s boat steered clear of this debacle.

    The truth will be in what criminal charges, if any, are filed by the U.S Attorney. Hopefully CCN will follow up on this story.

    (-17) 37 Total Votes - 10 up - 27 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      The US has established a 200 mile exclusion zone along the Pacific coast. All boats entering the zone are subject to being stopped and inspected. Attempting to smuggle drugs to the US is a crime everywhere and the suspects can be taken into custody for investigation.

      (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
  5. Zuma7 says:

    Not to worry, it’s just some of that rich diversity from
    south of the border.

    (25) 35 Total Votes - 30 up - 5 down
  6. missmuffet says:

    So where was Sheriff Parkinson’s Navy while the U.S. Coast Guard and the Dept Homeland Security were kicking butt.

    Did Parky’s $343,000 dollar 27-foot Defender Class response boat get the chance to get in on some action or at least get to tow the panga?

    Oh please tell me that they got to tow their first panga !!!

    (43) 67 Total Votes - 55 up - 12 down
    • Extremely Stoic says:

      How old are you? Such childish banter!

      (-47) 65 Total Votes - 9 up - 56 down
      • Messkit says:

        Childish? When one considers OUR taxes went to purchase a high powered watercraft that, so far, has not been used once in numerous headline making criminal actions concerning our coastal waters.

        Recall, that we who questioned the wisdom of the Sheriff in buying a very expensive boat that, in order to be fully ready to be deployed, must have a 24 hour crew at standby, on or near the boat, in order to launch against any criminal activity.

        You know, like the Coast Guard does. Who already has a very powerful and armed watercraft, that does this EXACT job, because, you know, that’s their job.

        So. Childish? Hardly.

        One could respond to you, by asking; How about responding to his statement, rather than spewing stupid crap?

        (34) 50 Total Votes - 42 up - 8 down
      • LameCommenter says:

        Stoic, get used to it. It requires some very serious level-changing (you call childish) to reach down to the level of nonfeasance and embarrassment of the Sheriff and his policies. Miss M was just noting with appropriate derisive comment, about the third of a mil waste of taxpayer dollars.

        Stick with us on this comment board. You’ll absorb adult behaviors and will know when to discern them.

        (23) 35 Total Votes - 29 up - 6 down
    • whoowhoo says:

      Date line 2033:

      SLO County Sheriff Department is buying a new boat. Sheriff Tony Cipolla states that the 20 year life expectancy of the old boat has been reached and that the boat has been a tremendous asset to the community. It has been seen by many at the annual Sheriff’s event at Madonna Inn and was even launched one time for practice back in 2016. The new boat will cost $1,250,000 and have several features that the previous boat did not have.

      (18) 20 Total Votes - 19 up - 1 down
      • Vagabond says:

        Ha ha guess again, the defender boat has an expected useful lifespan of only ten years. as per the manufacturers website. So sit right back and we’ll tell a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  7. Rich in MB says:

    You can see why the establishment doesn’t want legal pot…there is just way too much infrastructure and money to be made off the war on drugs. I’ve never smoked pot and never will, but I’m also smart enough to say the war on drugs is a failure and the money we spend on it needs to do somewhere else…like securing our borders!

    (45) 59 Total Votes - 52 up - 7 down

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