MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Cocoa Beach police are asking beachcombers in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian to be cautious about suspicious packages after a duffel bag stuffed with 15 kilos of cocaine washed ashore over the weekend, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
The find — worth at least $300,000 — came before Dorian's violent stirrings in the Atlantic led to a single brick of cocaine being found along a beach in Melbourne on Tuesday.
"There is a possibility that more will come onshore. Especially now with these conditions. It could be coming from anywhere," said Manny Hernandez, spokesman for the Cocoa Beach Police Department.
"We're telling people to be cautious and not to grab or handle it because if there is an opening, it can go into your pores and you can overdose," he said.
The duffel bag packed with the carefully wrapped bricks of powerded cocaine were found along the surf by a beachgoer about 5:30 p.m. Friday along the Sixth Street beach entrance.
The beachgoer called the police to tell them about the suspicious package.
"By the time it was weighed and done, it was a lot. There were 15 bricks," he said.
Cocoa Beach officers then contacted federal customs agents who took custody of the narcotic.
It is not unusual to find items like an occasional brick of cocaine or a bale of marijuana — called square groupers — bobbing in the waters off Florida or caught in the tides, even following a storm. In recent years, Brevard's coast has seen unintended spills from cargo ships and other vessels that have dotted the beach with everything from cans of coffee to other items. The rough surf, coupled with the Gulf Stream that hugs Florida's coast, can bring even more, observers say.
But for Hernandez, the duffel bag was one of the largest amounts he had seen recovered in recent memory. "I think this is the largest find we've had in a while," he added.
Tuesday, Melbourne police said a beachgoer found a lone, heavily-wrapped brick of the narcotic. Residents are urged to alert authorities about any suspicious finds on the beach.