CA - Local, Federal Law Enforcement Hold Panga Boat Briefing
SANTA BARBARA – Local and federal law enforcement officials held a secret security briefing on Thursday afternoon to discuss the panga boat situation along the coastline.
The media was initially invited to the briefing but were turned away at the door. Coast Guard and Homeland Security officials said the information in the maritime presentation was sensitive.
In an upstairs meeting room at the Harbor, Congresswoman Lois Capps, Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Coast Guard, Highway Patrol, the sheriff and the captain of the Port of Los Angeles met for the Shoreline Security Briefing.
July 5, 2012
The discussion focused on panga boat drug and human trafficking on the Central Coast.
“They're using boats that are launched from Mexico and come up undetected along the coast and land here surreptitiously and off-load either drugs or people who are undocumented,” said Sheriff Bill Brown before the meeting.
Since the beginning of the year, Brown said there have been 21 incidents of panga boats in Santa Barbara County.
“This is a situation that is both dangerous and it has security implications,” said Congresswoman Capps.
The most recent panga boat incident resulted in six arrests and the confiscation of 1,400 lbs. of marijuana with a street value of $4.2 million.
Although it is not known exactly what was said during the security meeting by the Coast Guard to law enforcement, they did discuss tactics and collaboration.
“We have major concerns about the public safety impacts of their operations and we’ve called and asked for support from our federal colleagues,” said Brown.
“Our goal is to give confidence to our citizens, and that's the bottom line,” said Capps.
Capps called for the briefing on Thursday because she said she wants all law enforcement on the same page to deal with the panga boat problem.This article was originally published in forum thread: CA - Local, Federal Law Enforcement Hold Panga Boat Briefing started by Jean View original post