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White Christmas: 74 pounds of cocaine found floating off the Florida Keys

Samantha J. Gross
Miami Herald

Miami – The Keys sheriff’s office came across some white stuff Christmas week. But it wasn’t the usual kind of snow.

About 74 pounds of cocaine was spotted floating off the Lower Keys by a fisherman Wednesday afternoon. The fisherman, who was boating south of Sugarloaf Key, notified a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy who was on marine patrol at the time.

Because the floating packages were in federal waters, the packages were put in a Monroe County sheriff’s patrol boat and turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Historically but also recently, lost shipments are trending in South Florida and the Keys. In August and September, almost 150 pounds of marijuana were found floating off the island chain or washed up on the shore.

In July, more than 50 pounds of cocaine washed up near Grassy Key. Earlier that month, 29 bricks of cocaine came ashore in the Middle Keys city of Marathon, according to federal agents.

In October, more than 30 pounds of marijuana washed up in the Keys. Eight pounds came ashore in Key Largo and an additional 23 pounds washed up near Big Pine Key.

(Florida Keys staff writer David Goodhue contributed to this report.)