Amidst all the fireworks, Budweiser and drunken yells of "America, fuck yeah!" this weekend, our Independence Day festivities turned out to be a busy couple days for the drug that built Miami.
Not only did Colombian cops seize a full-size, gold painted replica of the World Cup made entirely out of blow, but the same day the DEA found a 100-foot-long, fully functional narco-submarine in the jungle. Cocaine! It's a hell of a drug!
It all started on Saturday at the Bogota airport, where police were conducting "routine" searches inside a mail-in warehouse, according to the AP.
The 14-inch replica caught someone's eye because the gold paint was peeling and revealed a suspicious white base underneath. So the cops sent the statue -- which was headed to Madrid -- to the lab.
Sure enough: It was made of 24 pounds of pure cocaine.
Which means that, No. 1, somewhere in Bogota there is a seriously talented cocaine sculptor whom we'd love to meet, and No. 2, somewhere in Madrid right now there is a seriously bummed out soccer fan who's going to have to come up with a brand new Finals party plan.
Then, later in the day on Saturday, the DEA announced that they'd seized the drug enforcement version of Sasquatch. For years, drug agents have talked about cartels building submarines to sneak past the Coast Guard, but no one had ever found a working narco sub.
Agents say the craft was well-made enough to travel the thousands of miles underwater to U.S. shores.
"The submarine's nautical range, payload capacity, and quantum leap in stealth have raised the stakes for the counter-drug forces and the national security community alike," DEA Andean Regional Director Jay Bergman tells the Houston Chronicle.
Tim Elfrink is an award-winning investigative reporter, the managing editor of the Miami New Times and the co-author of "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era." Since 2008, he's written in-depth pieces on police corruption, fatal shootings and social justice issues across South Florida. He's won the George Polk Award and has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.