The Navy said Tuesday that two single-engine boats — each about 25 feet long — were spotted about 15 hours apart on Saturday.
People aboard the boats began dumping plastic bags, and the boats escaped before authorities arrived. Lt. Aaron Kakiel says no one was captured. The seizures occurred in international waters about 85 miles off the Mexican coast.
Authorities recovered about eight tons of marijuana from the first boat and 11 tons from the second.
The carrier USS Nimitz and cruiser USS Princeton were assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican navy.