A rural setting, a big reservoir, and bad weather brewing all around. The airplane was last seen going down fast in the middle of a monstrous thunder and lightning storm, accompanied by 30-mile per hour winds, near the Colorado-New Mexico border.
The small mystery plane plummeted into a 100-foot deep lake, witnesses say, and no survivors were expected. Something else did survive, however. New Mexico State Police have been busy gathering up the one-kilo packages of cocaine that have been bobbing to the surface and washing up onshore ever since.
A dive team went looking for the small fixed wing aircraft on Monday in the lake, located 100 miles north of Santa Fe. And while the divers searched unsuccessfully, New Mexico State Police were left to cope with the unexpected cornucopia of blow turning up near bucolic Heron Lake State Park.
The drugs were well packaged, and users have been known to mix water and cocaine for use in nasal inhalers anyway, so just to make sure, state police closed down a section of the 4-mile long Lake Heron as soon as cocaine started floating to the surface.
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Of course, finding traces of cocaine in a reservoir of water is not as unusual as it might seem. In 2008, scientists discovered that 92% of the drinking water being treated at a Spanish water-treatment plant contained small amounts of cocaine byproducts.
And so much cocaine was used in London in 2005 that scientists there were able to pick up traces of it in the River Thames. Still, it’s nice to think that perhaps a portion of the Great American Outdoors might somehow be spared the introduction of illegal drugs into every kind of water supply you can imagine.