Beachgoers find marijuana packages

Several Brevard beachgoers stumbled onto an uncommon species Monday — they found “square grouper,” or packages of marijuana that had washed ashore.

Six waterlogged packages were found in all. In unincorporated areas, residents directed the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to three five-pound packages and one 20-pound package. Melbourne Beach police were led to a five-pound brick and Indialantic police to a 20-pound bale.

“It was wrapped in plastic, no tape, and sealed,” said Sgt. Mike Casey of the Indialantic Police Department.

“A citizen found it but we also had an officer, who was working on a burglary report who was out walking the beach. It may have been thrown from a ship.”

Within the past week, the U.S. Coast Guard has recieved similar reports of marijuana washing up on Atlantic beaches as far south as Miami, according to Petty Officer First Class Michelle Buccheri.

Marijuana bales are found from time to time along Florida’s shoreline, typically after drug smugglers toss the packages to avoid law enforcement vessels. Indialantic police signed the bale over to their evidence room and plan to have it destroyed, Casey said.

The marijuana found by the sheriff’s office is not high-grade and would be worth about $900 per pound, according to Lt. Dan Singleton. Top-quality hydroponic marijuana is worth about $4,500 per pound.

The packages that washed ashore had become waterlogged, Singleton said. Once water gets into the packages, the plant material can become moldy, smelly and worthless.

Singleton said recent rough sea conditions make it difficult to tell where the marijuana came from. There were barnacles on the packages.

“It looked like they had been in the water a while,” he said. “It’s highly likely that the storms probably pushed them ashore.”

Singleton estimated packages like this appear every six to eight months.

“It’s not a regular occurrence, but it’s not unusual either,” he said.

via : Florida Today

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