Somewhere off the coast of Florida, there's a drug dealer having a really rotten day.
The latest in a troubling trend, it turns out drugs are now washing up on Florida beaches with even more frequency, all thanks to illegal drug smuggling efforts from outside the United States. In the 27 days between Sept. 15 and Oct. 12, Customs and Border Protection officials said they found 400 pounds of marijuana worth well over a quarter of a million bucks spread out over 15 separate packages that washed up on along the Florida Keys and the Eastern Florida coastline.
U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector Division Chief Todd Bryant explained that “[t]here has been a significant spike in drugs washing up on shore,” blaming the drug surge partially on “a shift in smuggling methods.”
Border patrol reports having made 95 seizures of illegal drugs that were found washed up on Florida shores or floating close to the coastline in the last 12 months alone, nearly double the 49 incidents CBP reported the year before.
Unfortunately, finding drugs lodged among seashells and the occasional starfish is an all-too-common occurrence in the Sunshine State. Back in May, two beach goers found a whopping 20 kilos of cocaine – worth about $600,000 – on a beach in Martin County. In April, beach safety patrol officers in Okaloosa county stumbled upon 21 bricks of cocaine washed up behind a condo complex.
Then in June, a volunteer with a sea turtle rescue organization came across a brick of coke lodged in the sand of a Fort Lauderdale beach.