Beachgoers searching for seashells stumble upon cocaine on Dauphin Island

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:55 PM CDT
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DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) - Several packages of cocaine washed up on Dauphin Island this weekend, and Mobile County Sheriffs said it totaled $1.2 million.

There were 25 kilos total, valued at $45,000 each.

It was a pair of beachgoers searching for seashells on the west end who found them and reported to the police. The beachgoers did not want to be named. They tell FOX10 News off-camera they suspected the packages were drugs of some sort and knew not to touch it.

MCSO said they are lucky to have had Good Samaritans turn this in.

“Something like this falling into the wrong hands could have been catastrophic,” said Corporal Lonnie Parsons with MCSO.

With an ATV, MCSO recovered the drugs, labeled “Triton.” They said Homeland Security is now partnering in the investigation.

For more insight, FOX10 News’s Lacey Beasley talked to Ed Odom, a retired Alabama state trooper of over 40 years who spent 25 of those in the narcotics division and DEA task force of Mobile.

He said the drugs were likely tossed off a boat.

“One, and the most probable I think, is they have convinced themselves that the police are watching them, whether they have seen a Coast Guard helicopter and one go over,” said Odom. “They panic, and they think they are moving in on them, whether they are or not.”

These drug discoveries have happened before.

Just last month, Walton County deputies said packages of cocaine washed ashore wrapped in emblems with Coco Chanel. In Pass Christian in 2021, another package surfaced with Pablo Escobar’s mugshot.

Odom said there’s probably no chance of finding the boat or suspects.

“It’s usually an unintentional situation,” said Odom. “They don’t come up here thinking they are going to throw it overboard and then retrieve it. It’s a reason for it, and it’s always going to be law enforcement. Everybody looks like a cop to them.”

Odom added just because it washed up on Dauphin Island does not mean that was the intended destination. It could have floated in from hundreds of miles away.

As for “Triton” labeled across the cocaine, Odom suspected that could be related to Triton as in Greek “God of the Sea” and could be a commonly used name.