Crime & Justice

More than 3 tons of marijuana found on boat off Southern California coast

In this Aug. 29, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Rescue Helicopter from Airs Station Los Angeles conducts a close fly-by of the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut.
In this Aug. 29, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Rescue Helicopter from Airs Station Los Angeles conducts a close fly-by of the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut.
Steve Lee/AP

Coast Guard officials intercepted a boat carrying more than 3.3 tons of marijuana off the coast of Southern California.

Cmdr. Daniel Pickles says the smugglers' vessel was discovered during routine patrol, and suspects began tossing bales of pot overboard as the boat sped south on Sunday.

More than 245 bales of pot were recovered before the boat was stopped more than 100 miles west of Santa Catalina Island.

Pickles says the drugs are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and his crews are disrupting a persistent drug trade through vigilant patrol of American waters.