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Mexican Nationals Arrested on Suspicion of Drug Smuggling Near Calif. Surf Contest

August 10, 2011

Three Mexican nationals attempted to illegally land their boat on California's Huntington Beach on Sunday, about a mile away from where crowds were forming to watch a professional surfing contest, authorities said.

Three Mexican nationals attempted to illegally land their boat on California’s Huntington Beach on Sunday, about a mile away from where crowds were forming to watch a professional surfing contest, authorities said.

Lifeguards at Huntington State Beach noticed the small fishing boat at around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. When the men realized they had been spotted, they turned back to sea and were seen throwing a package overboard, the Orange County Register reports.

Orange County sheriff’s boats then pursued the vessel and stopped it at gunpoint about a mile offshore.

Three Mexican nationals were arrested and taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents on suspicion of smuggling and attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The suspects reportedly told told authorities that they were fishing but a GPS device discovered on the vessel showed that they had been at sea for three days.

One of the men was in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, according to local reports.

A number of people were on the beach at the time of the incident for the U.S. Open of Surfing.

All three men and the “panga,” a fishing vessel with an outboard motor, were taken to Newport Harbor where U.S. Border Patrol agents took them into custody.

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