Members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department have confirmed they had detained six adults after their panga boat washed up along the Mugu Roch shoreline.
Authorities said it did not appear that any of those individuals were attempting to smuggle drugs or people.
Two of those detained were arrested. The first has been charged with a misdemeanor charge relating to him being under the influence of a controlled substance. Misdemeanor offenses are often punishable by fines, penalty and less than one year in county jail.
A teenager was also taken into custody. A representative from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said he was found to have an outstanding warrant that had been issued in San Diego County. His name has not been released because he is a minor.
A third person is being held by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. They said his man is in the country illegally and he will be deported back to Mexico.
The other three detainees have reportedly been released. It is unclear whether they were not found to be violating any laws or whether they were issued citations and will need to appear in court on a future date and time. Their names have also not been released, although the department does believe they are all legal US citizens.
The Department of Homeland Security said they received a tip call at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday. The caller had been driving in the area and took note of the abandoned panga boat. He said the vessel had been left unattended on the beach and that this was the fifth time he’d seen this type of thing in the past two years.
Gas seemed to be pouring from canisters onto the beach. The caller got out of his car, tipped the cans upright, secured the boat and waited for law enforcement.
Dispatch called the CHP and asked them to send a car to investigate. Officers spotted six individuals walking in the area a short time later.
The VCSD said they have seen a slight uptick in this type of unlawful maritime activity in recent years. Some have involved drug smuggling while others have involved human trafficking.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department officials are asking anyone who believes they see suspicious activity to please contact law enforcement as quickly as possible.