Tampa mayor finds $1.1 million worth of cocaine while fishing with her family
The 25 bricks of cocaine, which were decorated with purple and blue butterflies, weighed 70 pounds and had an estimated street value of $1.1 million
August 9, 2023 11:22pm
Updated: August 9, 2023 11:22pm
Tampa’s mayor caught something unexpected in her recent family fishing trip in the Florida Keys: 70 pounds of cocaine worth $1.1 million.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor was fishing for mahi-mahi off the Florida Keys last month with her family to celebrate her son’s birthday when they spotted a suspicious package floating in the Atlantic Ocean, her office said on Tuesday.
The family reeled in the heavy package onto the boat. Castor, who served as Tampa’s first female police chief before becoming mayor, immediately recognized the contents of the packages as they opened them.
"Closer we got, I was like, ‘Oh, that would be a bail of cocaine,’" Castor told FOX13 Tampa.
Castor called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to report her finding and handed over the packages to Border Patrol agents.
"Mayor Jane Castor is never off duty. This time, working with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office," the City of Tampa said on Facebook on Tuesday, sharing an article with the Tampa Bay Times.
The 25 bricks of cocaine, which were decorated with purple and blue butterflies, weighed 70 pounds and had an estimated street value of $1.1 million, according to Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar of the Border Patrol’s Miami Sector.
Over the weekend, Border Patrol agents in the Miami Sector seized 70 lbs. of cocaine that was discovered by a recreational boater in the #FloridaKeys. The drugs have an estimated street value of approx. $1.1 million dollars. #miami #florida #drugbust #Mondaymorning pic.twitter.com/etaiuwXrcK— Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar (@USBPChiefMIP) July 24, 2023
"We appreciate the ongoing support from our boating community," a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told the station in a statement. "Thanks to the efforts of this Good Samaritan, 70 pounds of cocaine are in federal custody and off our streets."
Since the mayor’s finding, more suspected cocaine packages have been found floating in the waters around the Florida Keys. On Sunday, lobster hunters found a brick of cocaine, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Lobster hunters found a brick of suspected cocaine at approximately 2:55 p.m. Sunday off Islamorada. Islamorada Capt. Derek Paul and Lt. Charlene Sprinkle were on marine patrol conducting resource checks and recovered the brick. It was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol. pic.twitter.com/jo1C0yscH1— Florida Keys Sheriff (@mcsonews) August 7, 2023