CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A sea turtle patrol at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station turned up more than just the reptiles of the sea when a wildlife manager found $1.2 million worth of cocaine washed ashore.
Around 24 small, tightly-wrapped packages of the illegal drug were discovered along the shoreline on May 19, according to a press release.
"I immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron," 45th Security Forces Squadron Wildlife Manager Angy Chambers said. "While I was waiting for them to arrive, I drove a little further and noticed another package, and then another. At that point, I called SFS back and suggested they bring their UTV, or Utility Terrain Vehicle, as I counted at least 18 packages."
As for where the plastic and tape-wrapped bundles came from? U.S. Department of Homeland Security Special Agent David Castro says they likely came from maritime drug traffickers.
According to officials, the traffickers transport bulk shipments in bales which, at times, can be destroyed. The destruction causes the bricks of cocaine to be lost at sea and eventually recovered along the U.S. coast.
The nearly 30-kilograms of cocaine found was taken to a secure location before being turned over to Homeland Security Investigations. Authorities are looking into where the drugs originated from or if the packaging has any unique markings.
45th SFS Flight Sergeant Joesph Parker shared that he was thankful for the vigilance and team effort that helped keep the drugs from "ever reaching the streets of America."
"We take pride in protecting our base and the surrounding community," he said. "There is also a higher level of job satisfaction knowing that these drugs will not make it into our community."
What other people are reading right now:
- 2 passengers onboard fully-vaccinated Royal Caribbean cruise test positive for COVID-19
- Full Stanley Cup Semifinals schedule between Lightning, Islanders released
- Deputies: Body found near Skyway Bridge identified as missing Hillsborough County woman
- Inmate accused of murdering baby scales wall to escape Pinellas County Jail, planned to 'Uber to Panama'
- Coughing at a Pinellas County beach? Red tide could be why
►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app
►Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter