CBS News reported Tuesday that Florida native Jorge Bustamente and his parents were fishing off the coast of Pompano Beach, Florida, to celebrate his birthday when he reeled in a brick of marijuana.
Bustamente was enjoying his celebratory fishing trip when he first spotted an unidentified object floating in the weed line next to his boat. Upon pulling it out of the water, he discovered he was holding a large brick of marijuana. According to Newsweek, the weed line is “a massive gathering of seaweed or seagrass known for being a fishing hot spot.” This package, however, was not the type of seaweed he was expecting to find in the ocean.
Bustamente posted a photo of himself and his unexpected present on Instagram, jokingly captioning it, “Got an early birthday gift from Pablo Escobar…. Found it off Pompano floating in the weed line.” Pablo Escobar, however, the infamous Colombian drug kingpin, is renown for his illegal distribution of cocaine into the United States, and not so much weed.
Bustamente began his birthday fishing trip searching for Mahi Mahi and Kingfish, but was gifted with an even better story to tell, calling this experience a trip he “won’t forget for a long time.”
After posting his surprising find to Instagram, Bustamente contacted the Coast Guard about his discovery. While medical use is permitted, recreational marijuana use is still illegal in Florida, so Bustamente had to turn over his “gift” to the proper authorities. The Coast Guard confirmed that the substance was, in fact, a kilogram, or two pounds, of cannabis in tightly wrapped plastic and immediately contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is still unknown where the brick came from or how long it was left floating in the water.
While finding illegal substances lost at sea is not a common occurrence, it is certainly not a phenomenon. Mass amounts of marijuana were discovered on the shore of West Beach in Santa Barbara back in April, according to CBS Los Angeles. Additionally, several parcels of the same substance were found off the Carlsbad Coast, all of which “were tied together with rope and tape.” Meanwhile, two smuggling ships were caught in the Caribbean carrying 2,600 pounds of cannabis. The drug-smugglers were stopped by the local Coast Guard in March and ended up detaining seven of the passengers on board the ship.