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The Pablo Escobar of sea turtles.

The Pablo Escobar of sea turtles.

The Inertia

At the end of November, the US Coast Guard found something a little strange: a loggerhead sea turtle tangled up in a rope that just so happened to be attached to $53 million worth of cocaine.

According to The Telegraph, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Southeast Cutter Thetis rescued a large sea turtle in ropes that were attached to the drugs. The crew motored out to a debris field that had been spotted during a 68-day drug patrol along the Central American coastline. In total, the operation found a literal boatload of drugs — nearly 15,000 pounds of cocaine, 14 pounds of weed. They also put 24 smugglers in jail.

The sea turtle, however, was by far the strangest find. When the crew pulled up to the floating pile of drugs, they didn’t know exactly what to expect. As it turned out, it was a bunch of bales of coke that added up to around 2,000 pounds. The sea turtle appeared to have been tangled for quite some time.  “They saw significant chaffing from the lines on his neck and flippers,” said the US Coast Guard. “They briefed the commanding officer and went to work, carefully cutting the lines wrapped around the sea turtle and then eventually freeing him.”


Then they pulled in the rest of the line, which turned out to be attached to the massive haul of coke.  “The boat crew recovered over 75-feet of line to prevent further entanglement of sea life,” the Coast Guard continued,  “and returned to the law enforcement mission recovering over 1,800 pounds of cocaine valued at over $53 million dollars from international waters.”

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