WASHINGTON— Persistent cross-border drug smuggling by transnational criminal networks is having an unintended consequence as illegal narcotics are washing up on shores and discovered floating off the coasts of Florida.
In a span of 27 days, from Sep. 15 through Oct.12 Border Patrol agents, in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard, recorded 15 separate drug seizure events where nearly 400 pounds of marijuana were found in different areas near the Florida Keys and the Eastern Florida coastline. The street value of these drugs is $306,400.
“There has been a significant spike in drugs washing up on shore,” said U.S. Border Patrol Miami Sector Division Chief, Todd Bryant. “This is at least partially attributable to improved partnerships across the state but potentially also to a shift in smuggling methods.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seen an increase in these events, recording 95 seizures in Fiscal Year 2016 compared to 49 seizures in Fiscal Year 2015.
Public safety is paramount to CBP, and we want civilians to know proper reporting procedures if they find a package like those pictured.
“If you are out on a boat or on the beach and you see a suspicious package, call local law enforcement immediately. Attempting to keep the suspicious package can place you in danger, as violent criminal networks will attempt to recover their narcotics,” said Bryant.
The Border Patrol encourages the public to report suspicious activity such as drug and alien smuggling by calling toll free 877-772-8146.