Drugs Washing up and Key West Fisherman dies after Catching a Square Grouper

I am sure you all have been hearing about the drugs washing up on the shores of South Florida. Its a recession and Miami's Police Chief got fired. Do the math.

This is a case for Crocket and Tubbs.  What do you think really happened on this fishing trip?  The locals have their theories.

Angler dies after snorting square grouper


A 54-year-old Merritt Island man in town to fish with his brother died in a Miami hospital Thursday after ingesting a "square" grouper, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Thomas Swindal and his brother, Kenneth, were trolling in 200 feet of water off Fiesta Key at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when they found a floating package believed to contain a kilogram of cocaine, sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin said.

Square grouper is a popular Florida Keys' nickname for packaged drugs found floating.

The brothers put the package in a bait well and kept fishing, but Kenneth Swindal told deputies he later saw his brother open it and snort whatever was inside, Herrin said.

About an hour and a half later, Thomas Swindal reportedly began to act strangely, running around the boat, throwing things into the water, including their means of communication, a cellphone and VHF radio. He reportedly picked up knives, a pair of pliers and a gaff, and removed the engine cover, which fell overboard and sank, the release states. He then gaffed the engine and damaged it, leaving the boat adrift, Herrin said.

His brother then threw all the sharp objects overboard, along with the package, which authorities did not recover, Herrin said.

Kenneth Swindal climbed on top of the boat and began signaling for help. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to a nearby vessel's call for help and took both men ashore.

Paramedics took Thomas Swindal to Fishermen's Hospital, FWC spokesman Officer Bobby Dube said. He later was airlifted to South Miami Hospital, Herrin said.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.

"We felt it was drug-related," Dube said. "He was acting crazy and going berserk when officers arrived. He was tearing up stuff."

No charges were expected to be filed against Kenneth Swindal, Herrin said.

"It's certainly against the law to keep such packages," Herrin said, "but [Kenneth Swindal] threw it back in the water in an effort to keep his brother alive.

How was throwing the bail back overboard going to keep his brother alive. Think about it? If you want a really good laugh check out the local "Who did it" theories at  http://keysnews.com/node/33541. Make sure to add your comments.

Only in the Keys!



michelle said...

Ooh you have all kinds down there! :) I'd like to see Crocket and Tubbs solve this one. I wonder if he tagged his catch before he threw it back in? :)

NauticalCottageBlog.com said...

Oh my goodness! Yep, that's all I've got!