At about 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 7, U.S. Border Patrol Agents spotted a surfer paddling north about 200 yards off the Imperial Beach coast, near the Mexican border. On the orange surfboard, agents could see a blue duffle bag that the surfer released into the water and continued paddling north.
Agents ordered the surfer ashore. He seemed to be complying by coming close to the beach but then refused to leave the water. Agents waded out to arrest him.
The “surfer” was a 30-year-old Mexican citizen who admitted to being in the United States illegally. The blue duffle bag soon washed ashore and inside Border Patrol agents found nearly 25 pounds of marijuana wrapped in five packages. Officials estimated the street value of the pot at more than $74,700, or about $187 an ounce. The suspected smuggler was arrested and taken into custody.
Imperial Beach lifeguards were queried and none had heard of the bust. Local surfers expressed amusement upon hearing of the bust.
One surfer said he had witnessed the bust of a surfer last year who had a surfboard filled with drugs.
"It was really lumpy looking," according to the surfer. “There's some crazy dudes around here."