SEATTLE (CBS Local) — Huge shipments of cocaine were found stuffed inside boxes of bananas at three grocery stores in the past week, authorities in western Washington state said.
The drugs were found at Safeway stores in the cities of Woodinville, Federal Way, and Bellingham. The cocaine appeared to have been sent to each location in similar quantities, marked with the letters “CK.”
Two produce workers were getting ready to put out bananas at a Safeway store in Woodinville on Sunday when they found 22 kilos (just under 50 pounds) of the drug at the bottom of the boxes, according to Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office. The Woodinville stash alone was valued at $550,000, he said.
The cocaine appeared to have been split into dozens of separate packages and wrapped in plastic.
Another 23 kilos (just over 50 pounds) of cocaine were found at a store in Bellingham on Aug. 18, police said. There was also a shipment sent to a Federal Way Safeway, although the exact amount was not immediately clear.
Shoppers are buzzing about what appear to be badly misdirected shipments of cocaine.
“I’m sure that somebody is in a lot of trouble with somebody,” a shopper told CBS affiliate KIRO. “I’m sure this isn’t where it was intended to go. Ha ha.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration says it is tracing the shipments.
“This appears to be a case where someone at a shipping port either got the wrong shipment from Central America or let cocaine slip through the U.S. port for fear of getting caught,” Bellingham police said.