Miami-Dade County

August 8, 2014

Up in smoke: Miami-Dade cops burn huge barrels of seized pot

Several times a year, the Miami-Dade Police Department organizes a top-secret drug burn of narcotics seized in investigations.

Several times a year, the Miami-Dade Police Department organizes a top-secret drug burn of narcotics seized in investigations.

On Friday morning the department invited the media for a rare glimpse into one such secret event — so secret that ultimately, only two members of the media were allowed to actually watch the burn take place.

Also top secret was the number of times a year burns are held. Citing security concerns, police also asked media not to name the Broward County location where it was held.

This much was revealed: For the department’s most recent burn, marijuana was the drug of choice. There was a lot of pot: 225 55-gallon barrels full of it, as well as two or three pallets of boxed narcotics, according to police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez. All of the drugs had been brought in as a result of investigations but were no longer needed as evidence.

Because the weight of each barrel differed, it wasn’t possible to calculate how many kilos were incinerated, said Lt. Alberto Somoano, who works with evidence at the department’s forensics services bureau.

He did say that the bulk of the weed was no longer up to snuff.

“After a certain amount of time, marijuana just becomes mush,” Somoano said. Despite the significant quantity, the pot had “no value whatsoever,” he said — something made even more true when it all went up in smoke that morning.

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