A yellow rectangular bundle bobbing in waters two miles off Miami theoretically could be anything. Trash? Clothes? Something jettisoned by rafters needing to shed cargo weight? Wayward Amazon shipment?
But, come on. You know what longtime Miami charter fisherman Mark Quartiano (”Mark the Shark”) and his fishing party happened upon Wednesday.
A kilo of cocaine.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
While on an outing with University of Miami students Wednesday, Quartiano spotted the floating bundle, hauled it in and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. He said the Coast Guard nonchalantly collected the bale and left.
Quartiano said he used to run into the bales of marijuana colloquially called “square grouper” during Miami’s cocaine cowboys days of the 1970s and 1980s (younger folks probably know “square grouper” and “cocaine cowboys” more as titles of director Billy Corben‘s documentaries on the era’s drug trade).