Off-Duty Deputy Reels in a $2.5 million Catch: a Bale of Cocaine

“I’ve done a bit of smugglin’
I’ve run my share of grass.
I made enough money to buy Miami,
But I pissed it away so fast,
Never meant to last, never meant to last.”

Jimmy Buffet, “A Pirate Looks at Forty”

Cocaine from the Gulf

Cocaine from the Gulf

Wednesday night, an off-duty Charlotte County Deputy was out fishing, and reeled in a surprise catch: a 50 pound bale of uncut cocaine. He caught the bale about 20 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, and called in the Federal authorities to handle the find. At last report, authorities are still investigating to determine the source of the package.

The cocaine

The cocaine packets

When I read about this unusual catch, I couldn’t help but think of the famous “square grouper” that used to be reeled in by the marijuana runners decades ago. If you’re not familiar, check out the documentary, “Square Grouper: the Godfathers of Ganja“, which may be available on Netflix. One of the sections of the movie talk about Everglades City, and the pervasiveness of the smuggling industry there, and the federal raid that shut down the whole town. They’ve been in the news recently, as well, with the release of “Saltwater Cowboy”, and autobiography about one of the leading smugglers. NBC-2 just did a story on the Cowboy, Tim McBride, the author of the book.

And it always makes me think think of Jimmy Buffet’s song, “A Pirate Looks at Forty”, quoted at the beginning of this article.


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