How Many Drugs Wash Up on The Florida Coast?

James Davis

Florida has always carried a notorious reputation for being a major drug capital, especially during the days of the “Cocaine Cowboys.” For years, any given day can contribute to the many reports of drugs that have washed up on the coast. Over the past 20 years, billions of dollars in drugs have been confiscated, making major headlines – and those just are the drugs that are found. The amounts and types of drugs vary, but here are the most common:
• Cocaine
• Heroin
• Marijuana
• Methamphetamine
• Ecstasy

Although there have been instances of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines washing up on the shore, the amount of marijuana that washes up on Florida’s shores far surpasses the others. Large bales of marijuana wash up on the shore on a consistent basis, but are not always reported. The dollar amounts attached to these drugs that wash up on the shores is shocking – billions of dollars have been found over the course of a 20-year period. The largest recorded amount of marijuana to wash up on the Florida shore was in 1997 at 102,000 pounds. Records prior to that time have skewed numbers, with solid statistics starting during 1994 and 1995. As you can imagine, with such a large water-based landscape, drugs are no stranger to the Florida coast. Although found primarily in Dade and Broward counties, drugs are increasingly showing up on other Florida coastlines and beaches further north. In May 2013, $7 million dollars of cocaine washed up on St. Johns County beaches in the St. Augustine area, followed by 16 kilos of cocaine washing up in September. The estimated value per package was between $22,000 and $36,000.
The numbers based on drugs found washed up on Florida’s coast continues to fluctuate based on product. In 2009, 70,000 pounds were found; 39,000 pounds were found in 2011 and more than 78,000 pounds in 2012 between Dade and Broward counties. The drug trade is obviously alive and well. With access to such a large water-based landscape, it is very easy for smugglers to attempt getting their product on land, but depending on how long the packages remain in the water, it may not be worth it.
Knowing the laws when it comes to the seizure of drugs and incriminating evidence is very important. If caught participating in any smuggling activities or in the possession of drugs, the implications and penalties can be very severe. You can protect yourself and your assets by getting the help of a trusted attorney in the event you or an associate run into problems. Having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with a winning track record who understands the intricacies of Florida law is important. Taking the steps to ensure you have representation to properly defend you can be the difference between staying free or serving time.
Know the laws and avoid getting railroaded by the system. If you have a pending drug offense, we can help! For more information on drug laws and how we can assist, contact us as soon as possible.

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