December 5, 2023

Native Information

“In my 23-year profession I’ve by no means seen or heard of something washing up of this magnitude in New England.” 

Packages of cocaine that washed up on Martha’s Winery in July have been branded with a toucan. Drug Enforcement Administration/Handout

Martha’s Winery doesn’t usually see snow in the summertime, however one seashore in Chilmark received a flurry of powdery white stuff again in July — 24 kilograms of it, to be precise.

Federal drug investigators just lately confirmed {that a} bundle of suspicious packages that washed up on Lucy Vincent Seashore on July 27 contained almost 53 kilos of pure, uncut cocaine.

“We predict that it originated from one of many South American nations, the best way it was packaged,” stated David DiTullio, resident agent in cost at Cape Cod’s Drug Enforcement Administration workplace. “We don’t see this usually, after all, in New England. It does occur down within the Caribbean and Florida Keys, simply not as prevalent up right here. The truth is, in my 23-year profession I’ve by no means seen or heard of something washing up of this magnitude in New England.” 

The Chilmark Police Division was the primary to reply to the report of a suspicious package deal that had washed ashore, DiTullio stated in a telephone interview. Native officers looped within the DEA’s Cape Cod workplace, which took custody of the proof and despatched it off to a federal lab in New York for testing, he defined. The Winery Gazette and The Martha’s Winery Occasions have been the primary to report on the mysterious packages and the verification of their contents.

The packages have been wrapped in a trash bag and burlap sack with Spanish writing on it, in keeping with DiTullio. He stated investigators decided that they possible weren’t within the water for very lengthy. 

“There wasn’t a whole lot of sea progress on it — that’s what you generally see if it was floating on the market for weeks and weeks, or months,” he stated. “It was pretty intact.”

The kilograms of cocaine characteristic the picture of a toucan, which DiTullio described as a branding factor that may denote the medication’ vacation spot or the group chargeable for manufacturing them.

“They’ll change these markings very incessantly. Someday they’ll be toucans, the subsequent day they’ll be eagles, or no matter,” he stated, noting that the DEA hasn’t attributed the Chilmark packages to any particular group. 

Federal drug investigators just lately confirmed {that a} bundle of mysterious packages that washed ashore on Lucy Vincent Seashore in Chilmark again in July contained pure, uncut cocaine. – Drug Enforcement Administration/Handout

“We did some evaluation of [the] tide chart and wind charts, and we now have some perception that it was dropped by a vessel, both for another person to select up or presumably whoever dropped it, there was a Coast Guard boat or one thing that they didn’t like and so they received spooked and dropped it within the water to desert it,” he stated.

DiTullio stated the DEA’s investigation continues to be ongoing, and he invited any members of the general public with info on the case to come back ahead with ideas. 

“At this level, if we get any additional info, we are going to take it from there,” he stated. “We’re doing a little stuff internally, primarily based on the markings that have been on the kilograms, to find out if there’s every other investigations all through the nation and even internationally that contain comparable markings on these kilograms.”

Whereas it’s arduous to pinpoint precisely how a lot cash that quantity of cocaine would fetch, DiTullio estimated the medication might be price anyplace from $800,000 to $1.3 million.

“We will estimate the value from Boston costs all the best way to Winery costs,” he stated. “As you already know, issues are rather more costly on the Winery, and we don’t essentially know if the package deal was destined for the Winery; we will’t say that for positive.”