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Posted: September 14, 2018

Pot keeps washing on Florida beaches; deputies say man tried to grab some

30lbs of Marijuana Washed Up on Florida Beach

By Kevin Williams, WFTV.com


A man tried to take 11 pounds of marijuana that washed up on a Flagler County beach, but didn’t report it to law enforcement officials, Flagler County sheriff’s deputies said

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“This guy tried to take advantage of a situation and it completely backfired on him,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.

According to deputies, witnesses saw Robert Kelley pick up the soaked packages Thursday morning as they washed up on the shore near Jungle Hut Park in Palm Coast. 

The person who called 911 told dispatchers Kelley and others were trying to open and take the bags.

Deputies said when they got to the scene, Kelley did not attempt to tell them he found the drugs. When deputies asked him about it, he pointed at his car and said he was holding it for them, investigators said.

When asked why he didn’t call deputies, Kelley said he didn’t alert the Sheriff’s Office because he wasn’t sure if they would come, deputies said.

>> Read: 30 lbs of marijuana found on Florida beach

Deputies said they found a “brick” of marijuana wrapped in plastic in Kelley’s trunk, totaling 11 pounds of marijuana. 

Kelley tried to conceal the package by wrapping it in a brown beach towel, deputies said.

Kelley was arrested on possession of marijuana and was held on $2,500 bond.

This was not the first time this week that packages of marijuana washed up on Florida’s shores. Flagler County deputies said a total of 100 pounds of marijuana turned up on the beach in just two days. In Volusia County, deputies said 23 bales of marijuana washed up on the beach Wednesday in Ormond-by-the-Sea.


30 lbs of marijuana found on Florida beach

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a package found on Ponte Vedra Beach Thursday at about 6 a.m. When they arrived on scene, a man said he found the package washed up on the shore. 

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Deputies found the 12-by-12-inch taped bag contained large amounts of marijuana, which was later weighed at approximately 30 pounds. 

“Most of those kinds of exchanges go on in the middle of the night,” SJSO Public Information Officer Chuck Mulligan said. “There’s no telling where at in the ocean this could have possibly occurred. It could have been off the coast of St. Johns County or it could have been somewhere in south Florida that drifted for days.”

SJSO said they reached out to other law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration to see if they have similar cases. 

The package is being contained in a freezer as evidence. Mulligan said if they do not find any leads, then it will be scheduled to be destroyed. 

“What we normally find is that these are either air-drops where an aircraft is dropping this in the ocean and there’s a boat waiting to pick those packages up and one or two float away from them,” Mulligan said. “Or it’s an exchange of two boats and maybe a package falls overboard and floats away and they can’t see it.”

“Being so in close proximity to Central, South America, that we are many times a gateway to get it into the U.S.,” he said. “So it’s not uncommon for us to see this every once in a while, maybe once or twice a year in St. Johns County.”

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