SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

More than three tons of marijuana were intercepted and retrieved by the U.S. Coast Guard near San Nicolas Island.

Suspects dumped 245 bales of pot in the ocean when they were spotted by a patrol aircraft. Their small boat was last seen heading south. The Coast Guard says it picked up 3.3 tons of pot from the area.

This drug bust took place Sunday.  Information was released Tuesday.

"The Sinaloa cartel and other criminal organizations are exploiting these sea routes to move their illicit cargo and fund their broader illegal enterprises,"said 11th Coast Guard District Commander Karl Schultz.