A Florida Keys woman finds quite the surprise that washed up in her backyard

Meredith Cline said she’s found lots of things floating in the canal behind her Florida Keys house over the 26 years she’s lived there.

Her home is on South Exuma Road in north Key Largo, which backs up to the Atlantic Ocean. The next major tract of land to the east is about 160 miles in the Bahamas.

“I’ve seen manatees. I’ve seen dolphin,” Cline, 63, said Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve even seen Cuban migrants. I’ve never seen this.”

Cline and a man who helps her with yard work spotted an object about 8 by 10 inches resting in roots of the mangroves around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The man retrieved it and it appeared to be a package of marijuana.

“I said, ‘Is that what I think it is?’ ” Cline said. “ ’That looks like what I’ve seen on TV.’ ”

They called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Casey Matthews went to the house, cut open the package and said it appeared to be marijuana, said Adam Linhardt, spokesman with the sheriff’s office.

Holding weed brick.JPG
A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy holds what police suspect to be a brick of marijuana that floated into a Key Largo canal on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. Meredith Cline

Matthews called the U.S. Border Patrol, and an agent took possession of the package, Linhardt said.

“Federal agents will determine its contents and its weight,” he said. “The sheriff’s office had no further involvement.”

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.