Photo by Peter C. Salisbury
Eleven days after a man from Mexico was arrested in Imperial Beach for allegedly trying to smuggle 25 pounds of marijuana on a surfboard, two more men were arrested for trying the same trick. Border Patrol agents saw two men paddling surfboards and towing a third board around 11 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, about 200 yards off the Imperial Beach shore.
The surfers started to float out of sight, so a U.S. customs and border protection helicopter was called in to find the men. Using a high-powered searchlight, they were able to direct the agents in the right direction. The agents dragged the surfboards in to shore and discovered that the third board was packed with marijuana. Duct tape and a black tarpaulin were used to cover the surfboard and hide six packages of marijuana stashed underneath the surfboard, which had been painted black.
The surfers, aged 27 and 30, informed agents that they were Mexican nationals and illegal immigrants. According to Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, the two suspects were handed over to the San Diego Sheriff's Department.
The marijuana came to a total weight of 141 pounds and was worth $84,600, DeSio stated.
Official Border Patrol photo of the evidence