Marijuana Floats Ashore In Florida
On Monday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a statement regarding narcotics floating off the shore of Florida. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of marijuana is floating off Florida’s coast and are being washed up onto its beaches, said CBP.
“There has been a significant spike in drugs washing up on shore,” said U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector Division Chief, Todd Bryant. “This is at least partially attributable to improved partnerships across the state but potentially also to a shift in smuggling methods.”
According to the CBP, between September 15th and October 12th, a span of 27 days, Border Patrol agents, along with U.S. Coast Guard, recorded 15 separate drug seizure events that consisted of nearly 400 pounds of marijuana along the Florida Keys and the Eastern Florida coastline. The street value of 400 pounds of marijunana totals $306,400.
There has been a high increase in these events. In Fiscal Year 2016 there were 95 seizures recorded, while in Fiscal Year 2015 there were 49 seizures recorded.
CBP advises civilians to know the proper reporting procedures should they find a package like those in the picture below.
“If you are out on a boat or on the beach and you see a suspicious package, call local law enforcement immediately. Attempting to keep the suspicious package can place you in danger, as violent criminal networks will attempt to recover their narcotics,” said Bryant.
The public is urged to report suspicious activity such as drug and alien smuggling by calling toll free 877-772-8146.
This is not the first time Florida has seen floating drugs. In the 1980’s smugglers frequently funneled drugs into South Florida using maritime and air routes over the eastern Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It was common for boaters to spot bales of marijuana or cocaine or for it to wash up on Florida’s shore since smugglers usually dropped drug cargoes into the water while being pursued or for later pickup.