Stranded Drug Boat Intercepted Off Orange County Coast

The men sitting on a white 26-foot McGregor sailboat in the Pacific Ocean 15 miles off Dana Point at about 3 a.m. on March 31 had two reasons for panic.

Sure, their stranded boat had been slowly taking on water for six hours.

But there was another problem: They didn’t want a summoned tow boat captain with water draining equipment to step on their vessel and see the cargo: Nearly 2,000 pounds of marijuana, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security task force report.

James Leemon Marshall III and Andres Alfredo Gutierrez initially declined Captain Scott McClung’s suggestion that he board and pump out the water, later changed their minds when their efforts failed and hoped the visitor’s silence meant he didn’t recognize the pot.

McClung played dumb, began towing the boat to Dana Point Harbor and called his wife, who contacted law enforcement. 

About 10 miles from the harbor, they were intercepted by a two-man Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) boat team, placed under arrest and eventually turned over to U.S. Border Patrol officials in San Clemente.

Federal agents say they found bales of marijuana wrapped in foil and plastic.

Marshall, who was born in 1987, and Gutierrez, who was born in 1992, now face potential maximum sentences of more than 10 years in prison if convicted by prosecutors of drug trafficking charges.

Held in pretrial custody as “serious flight risks,” both men are scheduled for arraignment on May 6 inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse. 

CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; earned six dozen other reporting awards; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; featured in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.

8 Replies to “Stranded Drug Boat Intercepted Off Orange County Coast”

  1. Extra points for stupidifir trying to smuggle dirt weed no one wants into California home of the best cannabis in the world.

  2. So much for th liberal idea of “if we legalize it” it’ll stop the illegal drug smuggling from Mexico.
    My question is, and asking from a democrats or liberals view, if it is now legal here, why is smuggling it illegal? Because we’re suppose to think that people that enter illegally aren’t illegal aliens, just undocumented. So thinking like a liberal, this is just undocumented weed right?

    1. Its become apparent Dean, you have no idea what the cannabis laws are in your state. It also seems your not very enlightened when it comes to immigration laws either. My suggestion is pick up a fucking book and educate yourself. Spouting dumbshit on the internet seems to just make you look stupid.

  3. The origin of the weed was never mentioned here, so you can’t just assume it came from Mexico (although it might have). It could have been grown here in Southern California and is being shipped oversees (where CA weed is worth a fortune), or to another state. Oh.. because the last name of one of the guys is “Gutierrez” it’s from an “illegal alien”? Last time I checked, there weren’t too many Mexicans with the last name “Marshall III”.

    If anyone takes any scheduled 1 drug (weed for example) across state lines (even between two states where it is “legal”) it is still considerred trafficking because it becomes a Federal issue at that point. The fact that a large amount of weed was on a boat indicates an attempt to traffic.

    Not everything is political so stop make it that way. Things aren’t as simple as this is a liberal thing or this is a conservative thing.. stop being a blind follower…. both sides are dirty, and influenced by greed and special interests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *