Surveyor Picks Up $1.2M Cocaine on Florida Beach While Conducting Turtle Nesting Study
The United State Space Force reported that they were able to seize at least $1million-worth of cocaine after more than 30 kilograms of the narcotics washed ashore the Cape Canaveral Space Station, Florida.
Turtle Nesting Discovery
The surveyor, Angy Chambers, who is also a civil engineer and wildlife manager, discovered the drugs on May 19. Officials mentioned that Chambers noticed the packages scattered on the beach while conducting a turtle nesting survey.
According to NBC News, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office shared that the estimated value of the 24 packages of narcotics was around $1.2 million. Chambers, a member of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, mentioned in his statement that she immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) with Space Force after making the discovery.
Moreover, Chambers shared that while waiting for the Squadron to arrive, she drove a little further and noticed another package. She then added that she found another package when she moved forward.
In addition, she said at that point, she called SFS back and suggested bringing their UTV or Utility Terrain Vehicle. By that time, she counted at least 18 packages.
Space Force Security Forces Squadron field commander Joseph Parker immediately suspected that the packages contained drugs. Parker locked down the beach and contacted the county sheriff's office for further investigation.
Furthermore, Parker added that the County Sheriff's Office immediately provided a narcotics agent who will conduct the testing in one of the packages. The results confirmed that it was indeed cocaine.
Meanwhile, officials stated that they turned over the drugs to Homeland Security Investigations, which is the primary investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Afterward, the information collected from the discovered drugs is shared with the El Paso Intelligence Center. The center serves as a repository for abandoned drugs found in the country.
On the other hand, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, David Castro, shared in a statement that drug packaging is usually destroyed during transfers while they were transported at sea, as Fox4 News reported. Castro added that maritime drug traffickers will transport bulk shipments of controlled substances in bales consisting of 25 kilos of drugs or what they called 'bricks.'
He also added that the bale wrapping is usually destroyed during transit which causes the bricks to be lost at sea. It will eventually be recovered on the coastline of the United States.
Parker also thanked the civil engineer, Chambers, who first spotted the packaged cocaine, for helping to ensure the drugs. Parker also added that Chambers stopped the drugs from reaching the streets of the U.S.
The special agent also said that they take pride in protecting their base and the surrounding community. He also added that there is also a higher level of job satisfaction knowing that the drugs will not ever touch community grounds.
Tampa reported the drug seizure was one of the biggest ever at the world-famous space station, WFLA reported. The TV news outlet also reported last month that millions of dollars of cocaine washed up on Florida coasts during a period of prolonged onshore wind. But officials stated that the origin of the cocaine is still under investigation.
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