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New Boat To Fight SLO County Drug Smuggling

By Nataly Tavidian, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, nataly.tavidian@keyt.com
Published On: Apr 22 2014 06:49:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 07:47:39 PM CDT
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.- -

San Luis Obipso County Supervisors have agreed to accept a $493,013 federal grant to be used for drug smuggling detection and interception.

County Sheriff Ian Parkinson urged the board to accept the Stonegarden Federal Grant, which his agency will use to deal with the growing number of smuggling boats showing up on Central Coast shores.

In the past two years, there have been 12 documented drug smuggling boats found in San Luis Obispo County.

"We've had an increase from 2012 to 2014 our last one landed here in February that we know of." Parkinson said, adding even more may go undiscovered.

"We don't know whether or not they're landing and going back out to sea," he said

The grant in part pays for a 27-foot boat to be used for patrols and to respond to calls when drug smuggling vessels are reported in SLO County.  The new boat will be staffed by Sherrif's Department personnel and will be equipped with a mobile license plate reader, a thermal imaging sensor and night vision goggles.

"One thing the new vessel will do is to help ... address the ongoing problem of panga boats landing on the shores of our county, " said County Supervisor Debbie Arnold.

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