The most valuable thing a Keys fisherman pulled out of the water Saturday morning didn’t require a lure or bait. Nor did it put up much of a fight despite weighing 40 to 60 pounds, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.
Then again, unlike cocaine users, cocaine itself tends to be pretty passive. Especially when tied up in a bale, which is what the sheriff’s office says a fisherman saw as he came back in to dock on East Carroll Street in Islamorada on Saturday morning.
Under the dock, the fisherman saw something floating. With a gaff and a net, he got the bale into his boat.
“The outside plastic was ripped and he cut a corner, which revealed a white powder inside,” the Keys sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt said in a statement.
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Inside were 25 plastic-wrapped packages. The U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol took control of the suspected cocaine. Neither the outside nor the inside packaging had a “To” or “From” address.
DEA Miami office intelligence chief Justin Miller told the Sun Sentinel in 2017 that pure cocaine goes for $26,000 to $28,000 per kilogram. Using that price range and the weight range given, the bale was worth $473,000 to $761,600 in wholesale prices.