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More Mexican drug smugglers going to sea

The Americas Post - It doesn't look like much, but this boat carried over a ton of marijuana

Federal authorities captured a Mexican motorboat with over a ton of marijuana north of Los Angeles early Wednesday,  arresting 10 suspects in the latest of a growing number of West Coast maritime smuggling attempts.

U.S. Border Patrol agents found the 27-foot craft packed with numerous bales of marijuana on the coast of Ventura County shortly before dawn, according to a news release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Authorities also impounded two vehicles in the landing area suspected of involvement in the smuggling attempt.

Four of those arrested arrived on board the boat, while the other six were detained in the landing area, the agency reported.

In recent years improved security along the United States border with Mexico has increasingly forced traffickers to smuggle drugs and illegal immigrants north by sea.  Between January and October of 2011, authorities recorded 26 maritime smuggling attempts in the greater Los Angeles area, including seven in Ventura County.  Since then, 10 further cases included two in Ventura County and one in Santa Barbara County.

In response to increased activity in the Los Angeles area, authorities have extended the use of marine patrols, land-based surveillance and collaboration with the Mexican government.