2:35 am
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
Drug smugglers take deal in coastside pot boat case
August 15, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily

Five of the nine men authorities say smuggled $23 million worth of marijuana from Mexico to Pescadero pleaded no contest to felony drug trafficking and received a year in jail.

The plea deal came less than two weeks after the nine defendants were nabbed at Año Nuevo State Park where two large vans came to meet a panga boat carrying 5,148 pounds of marijuana.

Luis Farid Gonzalez, 20, Luis Espinoza Mendoza, 28, Esteban Flores Salazar, 39, Joan Sicairos, 19, and Mark Richard Teixeira, 38, each opted to settle their case in return for no prison time. They were immediately sentenced to a year in jail with credit of 24 days followed by three years supervised probation.

The five others arrested in the bust are Mario Gonzalez, 36, Juan Hernandez, 39, Juan Valdez Lopez, 50, and Phin Vo Vorn, 33. On Thursday, Gonzalez’s defense asked to continue the scheduled preliminary hearing but the other defendants objected. Judge Craig Parsons refused to split the cases and continued the hearing for all until Aug. 27.

Authorities have not said which defendants were in the van and which came in the panga boat holding the 180 bales of marijuana. Some are residents of Sinaloa, Mexico, and the others San Diego and San Jose.

The Department of Homeland Security alerted the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force that marijuana boats might be landing off the county coast and, at 10:15 p.m. Aug. 1, agents spotted the vans entering the beach to meet the boat landing on the beach. Bales of marijuana were moved from the boat to the vans and agents stopped them as they drove onto Highway 101.

On the beach, agents reported finding an inflatable raft, rain gear and cellphones. A local fisherman spotted the unmanned panga boat which was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The case has similarities to another maritime smuggling incident in Pescadero. More than 1,000 pounds of marijuana were discovered at Pescadero State Beach after the Sheriff’s Office responded to reports a boat was spotted along the coast and a SUV stuck in the sand. Southern California has also had incidents of drug smuggling using boats to carry the product from Mexico.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: marijuana, beach, agents, coast, panga, pescadero,

Other stories from today:

Drug smugglers take deal in coastside pot boat case
Reporters’ notebook
Supreme Court restores fatal crash conviction: Redwood City man’s post-incident silence, and Fifth Amendment rights, at issue

Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
For what are you most thankful?

Family and friends
Life itself


San Mateo Community College District
Some in military suspended for deadly Afghan hospital attack
WASHINGTON — American soldiers and airmen who killed and wounded dozens of civilians in a strike o..
Winter-like storm brings rain, snow to Northern California
SAN FRANCISCO — A wintry storm drenched the San Francisco Bay Area and dropped up to a foot of sno..
More >>  
©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County probate notices