The mystery of more than 20 unidentified floating objects that washed up on the beach at the Cape Canaveral space force station in Florida was solved when the contents were found to be over 60 pounds of cocaine, apparently lost in the boat of a passing trafficker.
The discovery was made by a wildlife manager who was inspecting turtle nests and spotted one of the square bundles, tightly tied in plastic wrap, lying on the sand.
She alerted base security, who in turn called Brevard Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Field Officers. Members of Parliament identified the substance as cocaine worth approximately $ 1.2 million.
“While waiting for their arrival, I drove a little further and noticed another package, then another,” said Angy Chambers, a wildlife supervisor with the Delta 45 space launch, a former space wing of the US Air Force which was renamed last month. The military station is not far from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
“I called back and suggested that they bring their all-terrain utility vehicle because I counted at least 18 packages. “
Security teams closed the beach and eventually recovered 24 packages, which were tested, sealed and sent to the US Department of Homeland Security for further investigation.
“We are proud to protect our base and the surrounding community [and] there is a higher level of job satisfaction knowing that these drugs will not end up in our community, ”said Sgt Joseph Parker of 45 Security Forces Squadron.
Landed cocaine packages are not uncommon in Florida, which serves as a stopping point for large quantities of drugs arriving in the United States from South America.
Last month, packages of drugs were found over several days in the Florida Keys, just weeks after an even larger shipment – approximately $ 2 million worth of cocaine – was discovered in water in the same region.
Homeland Security Special Agent David Castro said traffickers traditionally transport cocaine in bales of 25 bricks of 1 kg (just over 2 pounds) each, and an entire bullet can be lost at sea if its packaging fails.
Less frequently, traffickers throw cocaine bullets overboard in an attempt to destroy evidence when pursued by authorities.
Authorities collect hundreds of millions of dollars in cocaine from Florida waters each year, this year’s effort spurred by a $ 70 million transport by the US Coast Guard in February.