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Four tons of marijuana found off of Orange County coast

Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons

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Yesterday, four tons of marijuana was found bobbing in the waters off the coast of Orange County.

Officials got word of the massive drug floatilla, with an estimated value of more than $3 million, around noon. It took hours for them to load all 8,000 pounds of pot into boats and bring it ashore.

The marijuana was packed in bales and tightly wrapped in garbage bags.

US Customs and Border Protection says it was one of the biggest maritime drug busts in recent years. But spokesperson Jaquiline Wasiluk says smuggling by sea is on the rise.

"As US Customs and Border Protection become more effective along the land border we expect illegal activity is going to go somewhere and one of the places we've seen is a lot of illegal activity pushed out to water," Wasiluk told KPCC.

In 2008 there were less than 50 cases of maritime smuggling discovered by US border patrol. Last year there 113. Many involve human trafficking as well as drug shipments.