Nearly $18 Million Worth of Cocaine — More than 500 Packages — Found Hidden in Donated Bananas
Texas officials expecting to receive a shipment of donated bananas last week instead found the fruit — plus a whole lot of cocaine.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced on Friday that two of their officers discovered nearly $18 million worth of the narcotic hidden inside a shipment of bananas that had been sent to the state.
“Sometimes, life gives you lemons. Sometimes, it gives you bananas,” the department wrote in a Facebook message alongside a series of photos documenting their unusual find.
Forty-five boxes of bananas had been donated to the department “due to already being ripe” from a business in Freeport, Texas.
However, after two sergeants went to pick up the shipment Friday morning, they “discovered something not quite right,” according to state officials. “One of the boxes felt different than the others.”
And once they opened up the box, the sergeants quickly figured out what the problem was.
“Inside, under a bundle of bananas, he found another bundle! Inside that? What appeared to be a white powdery substance,” according to the department’s Facebook post.
After notifying the port authorities, U.S. Customs arrived and confirmed that the white powdery substance was cocaine.
“Customs agents then searched each box on the two pallets, and they were all ripe and loaded,” the department wrote, adding that after all of the boxes had been searched, “Our guys uncovered 540 packages of cocaine within the shipment, with an estimated street value of $17,820,000!”
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According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. Customs are investigating the incident.
Jeremy Desel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, went on to tell local TV station KTRK that their officers “are trained to notice things out of place that don’t seem quite right.”
“They’re doing their jobs, not just on our units, but somewhere else, and they found something good today,” Desel said.
The banana donation is not the first headline-making discovery of cocaine in an unlikely place.
A giant sea turtle had to be rescued in December by the U.S. Coast Guard after it became entangled in a rope attached to packages filled with millions of dollars of cocaine.
And in 2015, police seized 441 lbs. of cocaine hidden inside a shipment of pineapples at the southwestern port of Algeciras, Spain.