Narcotics detectives seized 300 pounds of pot in a smuggling operation in a remote part of Santa Barbara county. 18 Mexican drug smugglers arrested.
Around 4:45 Saturday morning, detectives spotted a truck in the Arroyo Quemada area, north of Refugio state beach. The officers followed it southbound on 101. The truck got off the freeway at Dos Pueblos Canyon road and stopped about one half mile later. Police spotted a Hispanic male exit the vehicle and fleeing into a nearby creek bed.
Detectives checked the truck and discovered more than a dozen bales of marijuana. The packaging was consistent with Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Detectives spotted three other vehicles leaving the area at high rates of speed. They were stopped and also found to be loaded with bales of pot. They found a large Panga boat in the water nearby.
In total, 18 men were arrested. More than 120 bales of marijuana confiscated. The suspects have not been identified. Their nationality has not been disclosed.