When one Florida mayor set out on a recent fishing trip, she was looking to come home with a big catch. Turns out, she did just that, but not in the form of a Sunday night seafood dinner.
Last month, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor had been enjoying a family mahi-mahi fishing excursion off the Florida Keys when the group noticed a large package drifting in the water, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Castor — who spent three decades in the city's police department, serving as chief for three years after eight years in narcotics — knew what it was as it came closer: Cocaine.
After hauling the microwave-sized package into their boat, a split in the plastic wrapping showed individually packaged bricks, which U.S. Border Patrol would later confirm added up to 70 pounds of the drug. The amount in the 25 bricks carries an estimated street value of $1.1 million total.
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
Though Chief Border Patrol Agent Walter Slosar confirmed the drug bust on July 24, saying it was discovered by a "recreational boater," Castor's office didn't confirm she was the real buster until Tuesday.
On that late July Sunday, Castor had dropped a pin of where they found the load, called the sheriff's office upon return to her vacation rental and handed over the package to federal agents, the Tampa Bay Times said.
This was the fifth load of drugs found off the Keys that month at the time, according to Border Patrol.
Since the July bust, more packages have been found in the waters. On Sunday, people hunting for lobster — which is what Castor had also been searching for — turned over another brick to Border Patrol, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
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