DEPUTY FINDS $700,000 WORTH OF COCAINE FLOATING IN OCEAN
- Date: October 9, 2013 PIO Number: 13-10-8
While on routine patrol Sunday, a Broward Sheriff’s Office marine patrol deputy found $700,000 worth of cocaine floating off the waters of Dania Beach. At approximately 11 a.m., Deputy James “Brad” Lemieux spotted a burlap bag floating in the ocean a mile offshore, between the Dania Beach Pier and the Port Everglades Inlet. Lemieux, who initially thought it was a trunk due to its rectangular shape, found the bag stuffed with 25 individual packages, which field tested positive for cocaine.
The twenty-five kilos were taken to BSO’s Crime Lab. BSO investigators said the estimated value of one kilo is approximately $28,000.
Lemieux serves as the BSO Marine Unit’s manatee protection patrol deputy. The unit, comprised of Marine Patrol and the Dive Rescue Team, also includes one sergeant, seven deputies, a marine mechanic and a 40-man dive team.
“Our marine patrol is vigilant. They are reminded all the time that narcotic trafficking is still prevalent,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said.
The Marine Patrol provides safety to the county waterways, enforcing marine laws, investigating boating accidents and related crime scenes and promoting boating education and safety. The Dive Rescue Team provides emergency water rescues, as well as underwater searches for the location of explosive devices and underwater crime scene and recovery operations.
The Marine Patrol Unit also directs the county's Hurricane Flotilla Plan, designed to guide thousands of vessels, timely and orderly, to safe harbor when severe weather conditions threaten. In the county's western areas, they cover thousands of acres of the Florida Everglades via airboat, protecting a treasured natural resource that composes two-thirds of Broward County.
On May 15, a similar case floated to the surface when William Almond, a local fisherman, discovered seven bricks of what was suspected to be marijuana.
“If anyone comes across a suspicious package on the beach or floating in the water, you are encouraged to call 911,” BSO Marine Patrol Unit Sgt. Joseph Capua said.