A member of the newly inaugurated US Space Force discovered more than she bargained for as she conducted a survey of turtle nests on the coast around Cape Canaveral last month.
Angy Chambers, a civil engineer and wildlife manager with the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, was forced to suspend her check on testudinal housing conditions when she noticed that packages containing $1.2m worth of cocaine had washed up on the beach.
"While I was waiting for them to arrive, I drove a little further and noticed another package, and then another," she said in a statement. At this point she called back and suggested that the security detail should bring a vehicle as she had found 18 packages and was still finding more.
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Joseph Parker of the 45th SFS took charge of the search and closed the beach. A more thorough investigation eventually uncovered 24 bundles weighing 30kg (66lb) in total.
A narcotics agent from the local sheriff's office conducted tests which confirmed that the substance in the packages was indeed shouty nose sherbert. Although presumably not by wetting their finger and dipping it in the powder, like they do in TV shows (as shown at 5:49 in the video below).
The drugs were ultimately turned over to the Department of Homeland Security. It is thought that the packages were part of a consignment lost overboard during a smuggling run.
Dave Castro, a Homeland Security special agent, said that packaging and wrapping on bales of cocaine being smuggled into Florida are sometimes "destroyed during transit, causing bricks to be lost at sea and eventually recovered on the coastline of the United States." Traffickers chased by law enforcement also sometimes throw their cargo overboard in an attempt to destroy evidence.
None of our shelled friends were harmed during the recovery operation. They were all turtley fine. ®