WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are working to find out how cocaine valued at more than $1 million ended up inside shipments of bananas to three Safeway stores in Western Washington.
The King County Sheriff's Office recovered 22 kilos, nearly 50 pounds, of cocaine at a Safeway in Woodinville. The drugs were valued at roughly $550,000.
“That’s huge, we don’t see that very often," said King County Sheriff's Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
Similar shipments of cocaine were found in banana boxes at Safeway stores in Federal Way and Bellingham.
“I don’t know, I always think we’re in this little bubble. This precious little bubble where nobody knows how great it is and we have drugs here too – maybe I’m just a little naïve,” said Karlie Gates a Federal Way mom.
“Obviously they didn’t go to the right destination,” said shopper Gil Coronado, “that’s a big mix up.”
Employees at the Bellingham Safeway were unpacking boxes on Aug. 18 and uncovered 23 kilos, or just over 50 pounds, of cocaine in their banana shipment. The workers immediately called the police.
Investigators do not believe the Safeway stores were the intended destination. The Safeway distribution center is outside of Washington state, but the center distributes to 144 stores on the West Coast. It's unclear where the bananas were grown.
Investigators will now work the supply chain in reverse as they attempt to find where these drugs came from and where they were supposed to end up.
A representative for Safeway said they are fully cooperating with the investigation.