For frequent beachgoers, there’s nothing like finding buried treasure along the shoreline.
But it doesn’t always have to be buried to be considered treasure.
According to the St. John’s County Sheriff department, packages of cannabis have been washing up on the Florida shore. But as enticing as 30-pounds of herb might sound, deputies are urging citizens to refrain from bringing the loot home.
Packages of Marijuana Have Been Washing Up on Florida Shore
Last Thursday, a 30-pound package of marijuana was found on the shore of the Ponte Vedra Beach, after a man spotted a suspicious package during a casual walk. Over the weekend, an additional package was found, which led to the local police department’s message to beachgoers: Please don’t take it.
“Last week, deputies located a package containing marijuana, which had washed ashore,” the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office tweeted on Monday. “Over the weekend, the Coast Guard and SJSO located more in the ocean. If you encounter any of these, do not take possession of them! Call your nearest LEO to have them collected and destroyed.”
According to the Sherriff Office’s Public Information Officer, Chuck Mulligan, the occurrence of such packages are actually quite commonplace. Mulligan said he believes most of the incidents come from botched trafficking drug deals.
Unfortunately, according to Mulligan, it’s close to impossible to locate the origin of the deals because the packages can float for miles from any location.
“Most of those kinds of exchanges go on in the middle of the night,” Mulligan said. “There’s no telling where in the ocean this could have possibly occurred. It could have been off the coast of St. Johns County or it could have been somewhere in south Florida that drifted for days.”
Mulligan estimates that he deals with at least 1-2 instances like this a year. And it appears he’s already met his quota for 2018 in just the span of a week.
“Being so close in proximity to Central and South America, we are many times a gateway to get [product] into the U.S.,” he said. “So it’s not uncommon for us to see this every once in a while, maybe once or twice a year in St. Johns County.”
A similar situation occurred back in July, when local fisherman Jorge Bustamante reeled in a brick of weed during a recreational fishing trip. Similar to the latest string of events, Bustamante played the role of good samaritan and reported it to the Broward County police department– after taking a selfie and referencing infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar in the caption, of course.
“Got an early birthday gift from Pablo Escobar…. found it off pompano floating in the weed line few mahi and a few kingfish this morning but a trip we won’t forget for a long time.”
Despite the burgeoning legal cannabis industry, it’s clear the black market won’t be totally squashed any time soon—at least while the plant’s deemed federally illegal. Perhaps there will be less of a need for police to monitor the coast for illicit product.