They weren’t treasure chests filled with gold bullion. But a pair of packages that washed up on an Alabama beach are worth at least as much. Police say the barnacle-covered bundles beach-goers discovered contained 86 pounds of cocaine and 21 pounds of marijuana. Law enforcement says the cannabis and cocaine have a combined street value of more than one million dollars. Now, federal agents and local law enforcement investigators are trying to trace the source of the drugs that washed ashore.
Alabama Beach-Goers Find Barnacle-Covered Drug Packages
Orange Beach Police in Alabama suspect the more than one million dollars worth of drugs that washed up on the beach had been in the water a long while. Pictures of the bundles show them covered in fraying cargo nets and plastic bags and teeming with sea life.
And so far, investigators have no leads as to who or how the drugs ended up on the shore. It’s not unheard of for drug smugglers to drop packages if they think Coast Guard or other authorities have the drop on them. Then again, rough waters could have simply tossed the valuable drug packages overboard. It’s all speculation at this point, however, with the Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection and the US Coast Guard all teaming up to track down the packages’ provenance. For now, all they have are data about the historical direction of the currents in the Gulf of Mexico to guide them.
Orange Beach Residents Shocked and Concerned Over Washed Up Cocaine and Marijuana
Over the Memorial Day weekend, news of the more than one million dollars worth of weed and cocaine discovered on Orange Beach began to circulate among residents and visitors. The marijuana package, which also contained a kilogram of cocaine, was found in front of the Lei Lani Condominium. The massive bundle of cocaine washed up in front of the Phoenix 10 condos. And speaking with reporters, several people expressed shock and concern about the discoveries.
“It’s surprising for this area,” said Chris Yancey, who was visiting from Pensacola, Florida over the weekend. “You never really see that around here.”
“I mean, it’s such a family-friendly beach, you wouldn’t hear of that or think that would happen out here,” said Nick Rodriguez.
But it’s hard to say for certain whether Orange Beach was the intended destination of the cocaine and marijuana packages. It’s more likely the currents simply took them in that direction, judging by how long the bundles were in the water.
But for Billy Tharpe, who brings his children to Orange Beach, the real concern is the potential hazard the drug packages posed. “There’s a lot of kids out on the beach right now, brother. You don’t want them getting into any of that mess. One of them opens up and you got kids in the water,” Tharpe told reporters.
Police say the packages were wrapped in plastic to keep the water out. But accidental exposure to cocaine, which a child could swallow or get on their skin, posed a real danger. There are no reports about the cocaine getting into the water or of anyone harmed by the incident.