Caption: Twenty-two kilos of cocaine were found in boxes of bananas at the Cottage Lake Safeway. Similar shipments of the contraband were found at Safeway stores in Bellingham and Federal Way. KCSO/courtesy photo
WOODINVILLE — Employees in the produce department at the Cottage Lake Safeway received quite a surprise Sunday, Aug. 18 after they found massive amounts of cocaine in banana boxes they were unpacking.
Officers with the King County Sheriffs Office called to the scene recovered 22 kilos of the white powder valued at roughly $550,000.
“Some of the produce guys were separating boxes in the back getting ready to put bananas on the shelf when they noticed one of the boxes was full of what they suspected to be cocaine,” Sergeant Ryan Abbott said.
Ryan told Q13 News one of the guys put his knife through a package wrapped in brown paper to see what it was and found a white powder inside.
"He immediately thought it was narcotics and called 911.”
Police were able to test the powder on scene and confirmed it was cocaine.
Similar shipments of the contraband were discovered in banana boxes at Safeway stores in Federal Way and Bellingham.
Employees in Bellingham found 23 kilos, or just over 50 pounds of the white stuff on Aug. 18 as well.
Ryan said a spokesman for the King County Sheriffs Office didn't believe Safeway was the intended target.
It's unclear at this point where the bananas were grown. The Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting in the investigation.