IPSO: ‘Suspicious bundle’ found floating in the Gulf turns out to be 75-pounds of cocaine


PORT OF IBERIA, La. (KLFY)- A floating bundle discovered Tuesday turned out to be 75 pounds of pure cocaine. 

On June 18, 2019, detectives with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Investigation Unit were contacted by the Department of Homeland Security in reference to a quantity of suspected narcotics recovered by a work boat.

Major Wendell Raborn, with Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, said, “It did test positive later for cocaine. They were sealed… water tight wrappings.. All bundled together and it was floating out in the gulf, just a lucky find.”

Detectives met the boat at the docks in the Port of Iberia. 

“The ship’s captain reported locating a suspicious bundle floating in the water roughly 50-55 miles South of Southwest Pass,” Major Raborn said.

Detectives discovered the bundle contained 30 individually wrapped packages of suspected pure cocaine each weighing approximately 2.5 pounds for a total combined weight of approximately 75 pounds.

“This is a rare occurrence. Most of these smugglers want their loads to get there. They have several ways to do this. They may have been spooked. Drop their load early,” explained Major Raborn. “It happens.”

The estimated street value for the narcotics recovered is more than $1 million.

Investigators are working with federal authorities in an attempt to determine the origin of the cocaine, Raborn said. 

Although this is the largest maritime drug recovery the Sheriff’s Office has ever dealt with, Major Raborn says this could happen again.

“The tighter we close down on our borders and our security, the harder it is to get it in. It’s fortunate we have honest people who won’t just pick it up and try to use it for their own,” added Major Raborn.

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