While working as a volunteer to search for sea turtles, a Florida man stumbled upon a brick of cocaine.
Doug Phinney from Wilton Manors, Florida, was volunteering on a Fort Lauderdale beach when he spotted 11 loggerhead turtles and more than two pounds of cocaine.
As part of the Sea Turtle Oversight Program, Finney was one of several volunteers who work 24 hours a day to protect the sea animals as they lay their eggs on local beaches. This program helps to ensure that the endangered sea creatures will survive and also spreads awareness about the effects humans have on sea turtles, according to Harbor Village Florida.
After discovering the cocaine during his routine four-hour nighttime patrol, Phinney contacted local law enforcement around 1:00 a.m. to report the find.
"I finally flagged down an officer driving by," Phinney told the Sun Sentinel. "And I showed him what I found."
The 52-year-old instructor, who is on summer break from his position at Florida Virtual School, said he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary when he made the unexpected discovery.
"I was doing what I always do," Phinney recalled. "It was raining, the surf was crashing, there was a ton of seaweed on the beach, and then I saw this package the size of a brick. As soon as I picked it up I knew what it was."
He sliced the brick open and discovered a "white sticky substance." A trained dog with the Fort Lauderdale police department confirmed the substance as cocaine.
Three law enforcement officers ultimately arrived at the scene, all of whom allegedly seemed unaffected about the discovery of two pounds of cocaine.
"You did the right thing," the officers told Phinney, according to him.
However, the customers at a local bar were amused at the entire situation.
"They said, 'You found that right out there?'" Phinney recalled of the bar patrons. "'Man, you should have given it to me.'"
Richard WhiteCloud, founding director of the Sea Turtle Oversight Program, said another volunteer had also found a large amount of drugs. Two weeks ago, while the monitor was on patrol with the program, a bale of suspected marijuana was discovered.