Wildlife Manager Monitoring Sea Turtle Nests Discovers $1.2 Million Worth of Cocaine on a Fla. Beach
Nearly 30 kilograms of cocaine washed up on a Cape Canaveral Space Force Station beach, officials say
During a routine patrol of sea turtle nests on Florida's eastern shore, a Space Force wildlife manager made a startling discovery.
Angy Chambers, of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, was conducting a sea turtle nesting survey on a Cape Canaveral Space Force Station beach when she stumbled upon a "small package wrapped tightly in plastic and tape" that she suspected might be drugs, a Space Force news release says.
"I immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron," Chambers said, according to the release. "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."
After authorities secured the scene and tested one of the packages, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the contraband Chambers discovered was cocaine.
The sheriff's office estimates that the drugs collected on the beach, totaling nearly 30 kilograms, are worth about $1.2 million.
The drugs were turned over to a Department of Homeland Security investigation team, who examined the drugs for unique markings and identifiers that could help determine the source.
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David Castro, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said that sometimes when maritime drug traffickers are transporting bulk shipments of controlled substances, the wrapping that holds "bricks" of drugs together gets destroyed, causing drugs to be lost at sea. Eventually, that contraband may wash ashore.
For now, the origin of the cocaine that Chambers discovered near Cape Canaveral is still under investigation.