Wildlife Officer Found $1.2 Million Worth of Cocaine While Looking for Sea Turtles

Authorities said a wildlife manager discovered nearly $1.2 million worth of cocaine while conducting a sea turtle nesting inspection on a Florida beach.

According to a news release, members of the Air Force’s 45th Security Forces Squadron confiscated roughly 30 kilograms of cocaine that washed up on the beach at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on May 19.

The drugs were believed to be worth $1.2 million by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Angy Chambers, a wildlife manager with the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, said that while she was doing a turtle nesting survey, she found a little “package wrapped tightly in plastic and tape” and “thought it could be drugs.”

“I immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron,” she said.

“While I was waiting for them to arrive, I drove a little further and noticed another package, and then another. At that point, I called SFS back and suggested they bring their UTV, or Utility Terrain Vehicle, as I counted at least 18 packages.”

“After securing the scene and collecting the contraband, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office narcotics agent performed a field test on one of the packages and verified that it was cocaine,” Flight Sergeant Joseph Parker said. “We then documented all 24 packages and placed them in evidence bags.”

Before being turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, the drugs were transported to a secure location, where Special Agent David Castro assessed them.

Though the exact origin of the drugs had not been determined, Castro stated that “maritime drug traffickers transport bulk shipments of controlled substances in bales made up of 25 ‘bricks,’ or kilograms of drugs,” and that “at times, the bale wrapping is destroyed during transit, resulting in bricks being lost at sea and eventually recovered along the United States’ coastline.”

Parker expressed gratitude to Chambers for discovering the drugs before they reached the streets.