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Tampa Mayor Catches 70 Pounds of Cocaine

'It was a big catch,' she says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2023 5:08 PM CDT
On Fishing Trip, Mayor Catches 70 Pounds of Cocaine
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor hands out beads during the Gasparilla Pirate Fest on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Tampa, Fla.   (Angelica Edwards/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor was the city's police chief for six years, and she knows a bale of cocaine when she sees one. The mayor helped haul in cocaine worth around $1.1 million during a recent fishing trip in the Florida Keys, WFLA reports. She says she was fishing for spiny lobster and mahi-mahi with relatives when her brother spotted debris that she soon realized was a bale of cocaine. The bale was starting to break open, revealing tightly wrapped packages inside, each marked with a butterfly logo.

Castor helped get the bale onto the boat. On her way back to shore, she called the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, explaining that she was a former police officer who worked in narcotics for years. US Border Patrol agents later told Castor she had helped recover 70 pounds of cocaine. "It was a big catch," she says. Castor, who has been mayor of Tampa since 2019, tells the Tampa Bay Times that she's been traveling to the Keys for the annual spiny lobster harvest for around a decade. She says she and her family caught around 60 lobsters during the rest of the trip, but she didn't spot any more suspicious packages. (More Tampa stories.)

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