During a fishing trip with her family in late July, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor made caught more than just fish.
The Tampa mayor and former police chief said she and her family were in the area to catch lobster and mahi mahi when her brother saw debris on their trip back to port.
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“What happens is the smaller fish will congregate under the debris for the shade, which brings the larger fish, so you always want to fish around any debris,” she said.
Being a former narcotics officer herself, it didn’t take her much effort to realize what the debris really was.
“So we went over towards that and the closer we got, I realize that it was a bale of cocaine,” Castor said.
Castor said the protective seal around the cocaine, marked with a butterfly, had begun splitting apart. From what she could tell, there were 24 tightly wrapped kilos inside the bale.
The mayor and her family brought the cocaine bale onto their boat and called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
U.S. Border Patrol agents also came out to take the narcotics into their custody.
According to the U.S. Border Patrol, Castor ended up helping agents seize 70 pounds of cocaine in total. The drugs had an estimated street value of $1.1 million.