Cocaine valued at close to $18 million was found Friday in boxes of bananas that had been donated to the Texas prison system.
Ports of America in Freeport had contributed the 45 boxes of fruit to the Wayne Scott Unit near Angleton because it had already become ripe. But when Texas Department of Criminal Justice officers were unloading the boxes, one of the boxes felt different than the others. Inside, officers found a white powdery substance that tests by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials identified as cocaine.
In all, 540 packages of coke were found, with an estimated street value of $17,820,000.
The CBP and Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating.
Last year, authorities in Spain found cocaine hidden inside 57 fake bananas smuggled into the country from South America. And in 2015, authorities in Berlin found 850 pounds of cocaine in banana boxes destined for Aldi grocery stores.
PHOTO: Texas Department of Criminal Justice