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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Hundreds of pounds of marijuana found on the Florida coast

Between the beginning of September and October of 2016, the Border Patrol and the United States Coast Guard discovered approximately 400 pounds of marijuana floating in the water near Eastern Florida and the Florida Keys. Although there have been several hurricanes and major storms in these months, the 15 separate incidents where these drugs were found floating and washed up on shore indicate that drug trafficking is still a problem in Florida. It's believed that the overall haul would have produced around $306,400 dollars in revenue for the sellers.

Over the last several weeks, according to an Oct.18 report, there has been an uptick in the number of drugs found on the coast. During the 2015 fiscal year, which ran from Oct.1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2016, there had been 49 drug seizures. The following fiscal year resulted in 95 such seizures.

What this may indicate is that there has been a shift in smuggling methods. Smugglers tended to use the maritime and air routes over the Eastern Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to send drugs to the South Florida area. Bales of marijuana or cocaine were spotted by boaters in the past as they wash up on the shore. They're in the water because those trafficking them dump them in order not to get caught.

For those who find the drugs, picking them up could lead to accidental charges for trafficking they aren't part of. If you found drugs washing up in your yard or on the coast following a storm, make sure to report them to authorities and not to carry them yourself.

Source: AOL News, "400 pounds of marijuana floating off the Florida Keys is a sign longstanding trafficking routes are still in use," Christopher Woody, Oct. 18, 2016

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