Mayor finds 70 pounds of cocaine while on fishing trip in the Florida Keys

The drugs had an estimated street value of $1.1 million, authorities said.

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Tampa mayor makes million dollar cocaine catch while fishing
While on a fishing trip in the Florida Keys, the mayor Tampa reeled in a peculiar, but expensive catch.

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Florida mayor had quite the unexpected catch while on a recent fishing trip.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor helped reel in 70 pounds of cocaine while fishing last month in the Florida Keys, her office confirmed on Tuesday.

The drugs had an estimated street value of $1.1 million, according to Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar with the U.S. Border Patrol's Miami sector.

Slosar said on social media on July 24 that the cocaine was "discovered by a recreational boater" over the weekend and seized by Border Patrol agents. He shared a photo of the haul -- 25 bricks each stamped with a purple butterfly.

The identity of the "recreational boater" wasn't revealed until now.

Castor was mahi-mahi fishing off the Florida Keys with her family when they spotted the package, the mayor told the Tampa Bay Times in an article published on Tuesday.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor watches the workout during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp on Aug. 9, 2022, at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Florida.
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

"Mayor Jane Castor is never off duty. This time, working with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office," the City of Tampa said on Facebook on Tuesday while sharing a link to an article about the incident.

Castor is no stranger to law enforcement -- the former police officer served as Tampa's first female chief of police before becoming mayor, according to her mayoral biography.

More suspected cocaine has since been found in waters off the Florida Keys. On Sunday, lobster hunters found a brick that was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.