Tampa Mayor Catches Over $1 Million of Cocaine During a Fishing Trip in the Florida Keys

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times via AP

A family fishing trip off the Florida Keys yielded an out-of-the-ordinary catch — several blocks of discarded cocaine, over a million dollars worth. But the person who recognized it was none of than the mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor.

Reporter Olivia George of The Tampa Bay Times recounted the story of how Castor and her family came across the unexpected stash:

There was something in the water, black and bobbing.

The package adrift in the Atlantic caught the eye of a family enjoying a day of mahi-mahi fishing off the Florida Keys on a Sunday in late July.

“Hey, look at that,” said Kelly Castor, a 61-year-old boating enthusiast.

“Cocaine,” replied his older sister, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, as the package came closer, speaking with the assurance of someone who spent three decades in the Tampa Police Department, including about eight years in narcotics and six as police chief.

Not just cocaine, but 70 pounds of it according to U.S. Border Patrol, who also placed the street value of the find at $1.1 million. Ever the former cop, Castor recorded the location where they fished the cocaine out of the water on her watch before they lugged it on board the boat she and her family were riding. Once they were on dry land, Mayor Castor — who, along with her brother, was accompanied on the trip by her son and his girlfriend — called up the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to report the cocaine, which was then taken away by federal agents.

The haul made the Miami Herald as well as the Twitter account of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Walter Slosar, who posted a photo of the cocaine bricks, identifying only a “recreational boater” as having found the cocaine. Castor was only identified by the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday as being the one to find the cache.

After turning in their initial catch, Castor and her family continued their trip to much success, spending “the rest of their vacation diving and fishing, catching no more drugs but about 60 lobsters.”

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