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Officials Intercept Boat Off Newport Beach, Arrest 3

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panga3 Officials Intercept Boat Off Newport Beach, Arrest 3

(credit: OCSD Deputy William Nelson/OCSD)

NEWPORT BEACH (CBS) — Three smuggling suspects spotted on board a small boat from Mexico were arrested Sunday about a mile off the Newport Beach coastline.

Lifeguards near Tower 7 at Magnolia Street spotted the small panga just outside the surf line at 8 a.m., said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

“The three men noticed the lifeguard and police trucks on the beach, so they went back out to sea and began throwing things into the water,” Amormino said.

panga suspects Officials Intercept Boat Off Newport Beach, Arrest 3

(credit: California State Lifeguards/OCSD)

Sheriff’s Department, lifeguard and Harbor Patrol boats intercepted the craft and took the trio into custody on charges of drug possession, suspected smuggling activity and illegally attempting to enter the United States, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The panga had been reported stolen in Mexico, Amormino added.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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