What is the biggest catch you ever made in your life? For one Florida deputy, it was no fish, but rather a floating bundle of carefully-wrapped cocaine worth an estimated $12 million. According to Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell, an off-duty detective with his office was fishing 20 miles offshore last week when he happened upon 50 pounds of uncut cocaine.
“That amount of cocaine has a current street value of $2.5 million before it’s cut. Once it’s cut, it can be anywhere between 10 to 12 million dollars street value,” Prummell said in a video released by his office, which you can see below.
How did the package get there? Should Florida anglers be on the lookout for square-shaped objects on the horizon? Drug traffickers commonly use waterways to transport illegal substances and when faced with detection, will often throw their cargo overboard and retrieve it later. Sometimes these methods are even used to preemptively evade authorities. Earlier this year in March, Belgian police discovered more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine floating 15 miles from the port of Ostend.
“As the chance of getting caught in the ports increases, criminals are trying out other, sometimes novel, methods in order to avoid the classic controls,” Belgian magistrate Ken Witpas said. “More and more traffickers are trying it and this is a growing phenomenon with us.”
Prummell said it occurs in Florida as well, but is still incredibly rare.
“We know cocaine is out there, we know it’s coming in through the waterways but it’s not something we see on a regular basis,” he told NBC 2.
The sheriff said he is currently working with federal authorities to determine the origin of the confiscated cocaine and who its owner might be. The name of the deputy who found the cache has not been released. Whoever he is, at least he will have one spectacular fish tale to tell.