A large amount of marijuana has been recovered north of Wall beach, on Vandenberg Air Force Base grounds. Packages containing drugs were found in proximity to a boat that had crashed and was abandoned on the beach.
According to the Santa Maria Times, the 20-foot (6-meter) vessel was carrying a load of pot worth approximately $1M (€760K).
“Earlier this afternoon, our defenders discovered what appeared to be a large stash of illegal narcotics on our beach here at Vandenberg Air Force Base,” states 30th Space Wing commander, Col. Nina Armagno.
The aluminum fishing boat, described as a panga boat, was overturned and had no engine, either due to a collision or an intentional intervention.
“We have been advised of panga boats... north of the base, south of the base, but never before on our own property,” Armagno says.
The marijuana was stashed into trash bags and covered in brush. News Hill details that there was an attempt to hide the packages with sand.
“What it looks like to me are large bags, kind of like dark-colored trash bags, wrapped up and stacked, and actually they have been covered in what looks like an attempt to camouflage them with brush,” Armagno describes.
The Air Force contacted the Department of Homeland Security for further investigations in the case.
While they have searched the grounds in collaboration with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol, Vandenberg has some 2,000 facilities in the area.
“We immediately secured the scene and started searching the beaches and the local area. [...] I ordered all facilities to be searched and secured.
“We’re going to be extremely vigilant of the area until it’s cleaned up and secured.
“We have determined that there is no threat to the base and the local community,” Armagno adds.