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U.S. Border Patrol agents thwarted an attempt to smuggle nearly 750 pounds of marijuana, arresting three Mexican nationals aboard a boat Thursday morning south of San Onofre Beach.
Agents were notified of a suspicious open-hulled, panaga style boat heading north along the San Diego coastline, near Camp Pendleton at 8 a.m., officials said in a media release.
Officials on land and in the water and air responded to the scene and spotted the quickly moving boat as it headed onto Red Beach.
After a further search of the area, officials arrested three men who reportedly ran from the boat as it came ashore. The men were questioned and later determined to be in the country illegally.
741 pounds of marijuana in 32 bundles were found on the boat, along with fuel containers and life vests. Officials said the estimated street value of the drugs was $444,600.
The three men, drugs and boat were all turned over to Homeland Security Marine Task Force for further investigation.