(CNN)A wildlife manager stumbled upon approximately $1.2 million worth of cocaine while performing a sea turtle nesting survey on a Florida beach, authorities said.
Members of the Air Force's 45th Security Forces Squadron seized the nearly 30 kilograms of cocaine that washed up on a the beach at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on May 19, according to a news release.
Angy Chambers, a 45th Civil Engineer Squadron wildlife manager, said that while was doing a turtle nesting survey, she found a small "package wrapped tightly in plastic and tape" and "thought it could be drugs."
"I immediately contacted the 45th Security Forces Squadron," she said.
"While I was waiting for them to arrive, I drove a little further and noticed another package, and then another. At that point, I called SFS back and suggested they bring their UTV, or Utility Terrain Vehicle, as I counted at least 18 packages."
"After securing the scene and collecting the contraband, a Brevard County Sheriff's Office narcotics agent performed a field test on one of the packages and verified that it was cocaine," Flight Sergeant Joseph Parker said. "We then documented all 24 packages and placed them in evidence bags."
The drugs were taken to a secure location and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations where Special Agent David Castro examined them.
Though the exact origin of the drugs hadn't been determined, Castro said "maritime drug traffickers will transport bulk shipments of controlled substances in bales consisting of 25 'bricks,' or kilograms of drugs" and that "sometimes the bale wrapping is destroyed during transit causing bricks to be lost at sea and eventually recovered on the coastline of the United States."
Parker said he's thankful that Chambers found the drugs before they reached the streets.