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More Than $1 Million in Cocaine Was Found in Banana Shipments Bound for Grocery Stores

Hillary Leung

Bricks of cocaine were found stashed in boxes of banana shipments at three grocery stores in Washington state on Sunday, CNN reports.

The drugs totaled more than $1 million and were packed with ordinary produce.

“We’re still trying to determine where it all came from. That’s under investigation. We do know it was all shipped from a central warehouse, but we don’t know where it originated yet, so that’s a work in progress,” said Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the city of Woodinville.

According to Abbott, employees at a Safeway in Woodinville, about 20 miles northeast of Seattle, spotted brown paper inside one of the boxes. They discovered the drugs — almost 50 pounds of it, and with a street value of $550,000 — when they looked further.

Cocaine was also found at Safeway stores in Bellingham and Federal Way.

“We see cocaine out here, but we don’t see this large amounts and we don’t see it in Safeway and we don’t see it in banana boxes,” Abbott added.

But banana shipments have been used to peddle cocaine before. About $18 million worth of the drug was found hidden within bundles of bananas being donated to Texas prisons last year, and in April, German authorities found a record haul of cocaine stashed in crates at six branches of a supermarket chain.