Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Marina del Rey station helped recover 35 bales of marijuana floating about six miles northwest of the harbor, officials said Thursday.
A recreational boater headed to Marina del Rey on his way back from Santa Barbara came across five floating bales of pot about noon Wednesday and called the U.S. Coast Guard, said Sgt. Michael Carriles of the sheriff's Marina del Rey station.
Sheriff's marine patrol deputies responded to the area with the Los Angeles County Fire Baywatch and found 30 more packages, Carriles said. The bales weighed about 912 pounds and had an estimated street value of roughly $500,000, Carriles said.
There has been an increase in illegal drug smuggling along the Southern California over the past year, but this is the first case involving the Marina del Rey station, Carriles said.
The marijuana was taken to the Marina del Rey station and then transferred to the custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The case remains under investigation.