Some cocaine smugglers picked the wrong box of bananas to hide their stash.
The crates of the fruit showed up at the Ports of America in Texas meant as a donation for the prison system, but as a pair of sergeants with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice started to unload the boxes they discovered that there was $18 million worth of cocaine hidden inside, KHOU11 reported.
The pair noticed that something felt off about the boxes, and when they cut open the binding to look inside they found a bundle of a white substance hidden beneath the bananas. They found more and more of the bundles, until they pulled out a total of 540 packages. In total, the cocaine was worth close to $18 million, the New York Daily News reported.
The department took pictures of the haul and shared it on Facebook with a mocking message for the drug smugglers.
“Sometimes, life gives you lemons. Sometimes, it gives you bananas,” reads the post. “And sometimes, it gives you something you’d never expect! This morning, TDCJ was donated 2 pallets of bananas, 45 boxes, from Ports of America in Freeport. They were being donated due to already being ripe. … What a find by the boys in grey!”
It was not clear where the cocaine shipment was actually supposed to go, or just how they ended up being donated to a prison. The fate of the bananas was also unclear, but it seems likely the fruit did not find its way to prisoners after it had to be confiscated during the cocaine bust.
The story gained viral attention, and this is not the first time that drug smugglers have tried to use a fruit shipment to haul their products. Just a few weeks ago, police in Spain intercepted a shipment of nearly 150 pounds of cocaine that had been stuffed into hollowed-out coconuts. As the New York Post reported, each coconut had a paraffin coating to cover up the chemical smell of the drugs, but drug-sniffing dogs were able to detect the shipment anyway.
Spanish police were able to trace the shipment back to its source, arresting seven people in Madrid and Barcelona as part of the drug-smuggling ring.
Texas officials did not say where the shipment of cocaine hidden with the bananas had originated or where it was intended to go. It is not clear if they have any suspects in the mistakenly sent crates.