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Authorities seize more than $3 million in pot found floating off the Orange County coast

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It’s a funny kind of flotsam and jetsam.

Authorities hope to discover the source of more than $3 million worth of marijuana found floating off the Orange County coast Sunday.

The illicit pot -- 160 bales were counted bobbing about, totaling 8,000 pounds -- was fished out of the water yesterday by authorities and hauled in to Dana Point Harbor, the L.A. Times reports.

The bales were first seen just after noon Sunday about 15 miles offshore by a boater, who notified authorities, according to the Orange County Register. Several U.S. Coast Guard and Orange County Sheriff’s Department vessels worked together to collect the floating pot.

(The exact amount and value of the pot has been reported variously as somewhere between $3 million and $3.6 million, and between 7,000 and 8,000 pounds -- but anyway, it’s a lot.)

A Border Patrol spokesman told the Register that it is not uncommon for smugglers to jettison their weed after they’ve been discovered -- as happened last month after three men in a panga ran aground near Malibu. And Homeland Security officials have said they are seeing more and more drug smugglers from Mexico along the Orange and L.A. County coasts.

But the spokesman said it’s strange that this time authorities never saw a boat, and have no idea where exactly the bales came from.

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