A Mini 'Cocaine Mountain' Spotted Off The Shores Of Miami

By Eliana Regev | Wednesday, 17 August 2022 16:45
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Key West police and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office reported over the weekend that 25 bricks of narcotics were noticed floating 50 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida.

Authorities in Southern Florida got a tip on Saturday afternoon from a person who saw a fished-out bale floating in the ocean. Key West police arrived on the scene, at Coconut Mallory Marina, where they found 25 rectangle-shaped bricks wrapped in green plastic and marked with "XXX" decals inside the bale. It was estimated that the total weight of the bricks was roughly 55 lbs.

The sheriff's office posted the discovery on its Twitter page.

After the finding, the sheriff's office submitted the suspected cocaine to the office's property and evidence division. The drugs will then be given to federal authorities.

Meanwhile, China's move to suspend cooperation with the United States to fight narcotics trafficking, including illicit fentanyl, is "unacceptable," the White House announced on Monday, as Beijing continued to demonstrate a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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China declared fresh military drills on Monday around Taiwan - a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises in response to the highest-level U.S. visit to the Chinese-claimed island in 25 years.

In addition to the drills, Beijing last week declared the cancelation or suspension of a series of cooperation channels with Washington, including theater-level military talks, and exchanges on climate change, transnational crime, and counternarcotics.

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Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced he was disappointed by the move in light of the continuous overdose epidemic driven by fentanyl that has claimed over 100,000 lives in the United States in the past year.

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"At a time when illicit fentanyl continues to claim a life every five minutes, it's unacceptable that the PRC (People's Republic of China) is withholding cooperation that would help to bring to justice individuals who traffic these illicit drugs and who engage in this global criminal enterprise," Gupta announced in a statement.

The disruption would have global implications, he announced.

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"China has played and must play a key role in helping disrupt the illicit flow of drugs like fentanyl and their precursor chemicals," Gupta stated, adding that the United States would continue to push for international action.

Despite China banning fentanyl and similar variants in 2019, it stays a primary source of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.

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Beijing states its attempts to strictly control narcotics, including fentanyl, have received international recognition.

Before China suspending cooperation, U.S. President Joe Biden and China's leader Xi Jinping discussed the fentanyl matter throughout a call in July, and had tasked their teams to conduct follow-up work.

A U.S. Congressional report said last August that weak cooperation from Chinese authorities was hindering attempts to curb increasingly sophisticated forms of fentanyl trafficking.

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