Off-duty deputy catches $12M cocaine while fishing

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL — NBC2 is learning more about a Charlotte County deputy who may have found the catch of his life while fishing: 50 pounds of cocaine worth millions in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deputy was off-duty and fishing just 25 miles off of Englewood Beach when he made the find.

The sheriff says the 25 bricks of cocaine could be worth up to $12 million once they are cut.

The owner of King Fisher Fleet in Punta Gorda, Ralph Allen, says he was boating just minutes away from the scene.

“It could have just as easily been me. Or one our boats,” Allen said.

It’s led him and others to ask: Where did this huge bail come from and where was it going?

Allen says with water, it’s hard to tell.

“Anything that floats can get carried forever. You’ve all heard about message in a bottle. Makes it clear across the ocean and shows up years later. Same thing applies to anything that floats,” Allen said.

We asked to speak with the detective who made the find, but Sheriff Bill Prummell said they are not releasing his name due to safety concerns.

He also says this type of find is very rare.

“We know cocaine is out there, we know it’s coming in through the waterways but it’s not something we see on a regular basis,” Prummell said.

The deputy who made the find immediately called a fellow deputy who contacted US Border Patrol.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with federal agents to figure out where the big payload came from and who might be looking for it.


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