'Legend of Cocaine Island' Netflix Documentary Ends With Treasure Map to a Possible $2 Million Drug Cache

The end of new Netflix Originals The Legend of Cocaine Island displays a treasure map—complete with latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates—to what the documentary suggests could be a cocaine stash worth more than $2 million.

The Legend of Cocaine Island follows construction company president Rodney Hyden, inspired to search out a bag loaded with bricks of cocaine after hearing the story from his friend, a hippy named Julian, who claims to have found the bag washed up on a beach in Puerto Rico and, unsure what to do, buries it.

By the end of The Legend of Cocaine Island, Rodney (and the documentary itself) ponders a police conspiracy theory that could mean the bag is still buried in the same spot, ready to be dug up by any enterprising treasure hunter with the right connections to smuggle multiple kilos of cocaine into the United States. The documentary ends by zooming into satellite map images of the exact location, followed by coordinates: 18.308281 degrees North, -65.282656 degrees West.

legend-cocaine-island-coordinates-treasure-map
New Netflix documentary "The Legend of Cocaine Island" shows a satellite image to what might be a buried drug cache. Netflix

For more on the possible buried drug cache, it will be necessary to discuss major spoilers from Netflix's The Legend of Cocaine Island. Consider yourself warned.

The Legend of Cocaine Island

The Legend of Cocaine Island opens with an unverifiable campfire story. While walking the beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico, Julian found a duffle bag with waterproof wrapping. Inside was 32 kilos, or 70 pounds, of cocaine, which the documentary values at around $2 million. Unsure of what to do, Julian buried the bag in a succession of holes. Ten years later, Julian would tell the story in a new town, where construction company president Rodney Hyden heard it.

After the 2008 financial crash, Hyden's family moved from their house with a pool and three-car garage to a double-wide trailer outside of Gainesville, Florida. The possibility of digging up the buried drugs intrigued him. "Julian's story was probably the most fascinating story I've ever heard in my life," he says in The Legend of Cocaine Island, which recreates many of the subsequent events, with Hyden and others playing themselves.

"Oh, come on," his wife Jamie responds.

"Julian was sitting on a goldmine. We're talking about 32 kilograms of cocaine. X marks the spot. Treasure, treasure, treasure," Hyden says, describing how the story fired his imagination. His plan to dig up the cocaine became a little more real after teaming up with Andy, a friend of his son who he sometimes hired to do chores. With the help of Dee—who spends Cocaine Island behind a skull bandanna—and Carlos, a supposed drug smuggler with his own airplane, Randy hunts down the buried cocaine.

Unprepared for drug trafficking shenanigans, Hyden and Andy's search for the cocaine turns into a comedy of errors. After two failed missions to Puerto Rico, Rodney hands off the map to Carlos, trusting that the smuggler wouldn't cut him out of the deal.

Later, after Carlos meets Hyden with the drugs, Hyden is arrested for possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine, with the intent to distribute. Overcome with dreams of buried treasure and easy wealth, Hyden had fallen right into a joint Homeland Security and Alachua County Sheriff's Office sting.

The Legend of Cocaine Island treats Hyden's arrest by Homeland Security as entrapment. It's not hard to see why. Whether his arrest meets the current working legal standard for entrapment is beside the point—handing a treasure map to undercover police hardly seems equivalent to trafficking cocaine. Even so, a jury convicts Hyden, a judge exempts him from the ten-year minimum sentence and he's let off with 60 days in jail and a few years of community service.

In this, The Legend of Cocaine Island starts to feel like one of those terrible headlines sympathetic to white mass shooters—Hyden is granted an empathy it's impossible to imagine for a person of color in the United States. This isn't to suggest Hyden deserved to be punished more—nor does it excuse the outrageous police "sting," in which undercover officers enact every step of a drug trafficking plan, just to pin it on a hard-luck guy with kingpin fantasies—but it should have us asking difficult questions about whose situation gets looked upon charitably and who gets thrown into the world's largest prison system.

Hyden's wife isn't too far off when she compares the police sting to the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden: "Just give me a map. You don't have to do anything," she says in the documentary, mimicking the police pitch to her husband. "We're a casualty of bulls**t."

But all of that's beside the point if you're looking for a $2 million cache of illegal narcotics.

Looking back on his arrest and trial, Hyden and Andy point toward a number of deficiencies in Alachua County and Homeland Security's version of events. To lure Hyden, the undercover investigators emailed him a single photo of a handful of wrapped bricks in a hole in the ground. Later, they pass actual bricks of cocaine in a duffel bag to Hyden, in order that he may incriminate himself.

Hyden and Andy insinuate that Homeland Security and the Sheriff's Office—who offered no additional evidence of actually retrieving the cocaine from its buried hiding spot in the documentary—may have faked their Puerto Rico expedition, instead busting Hyden with cocaine procured for the sting.

"Honestly, they never dug anything up," Hyden posits.

"For those people who believe we never actually went to Culebra and never dug up the cocaine, they're 100 percent wrong," an anonymous Homeland Security official says in Cocaine Island. "We went to Culebra. We dug up the cocaine and we admitted that cocaine into trial."

"Don't do it," an anonymous representative for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office says. "I would not go down to Culebra, or any location for that matter. Absolutely not."

"If you knew where $2 million was buried in the ground, would you go get it?" Andy asks at the end of The Legend of Cocaine Island , streaming now on Netflix. It's a blatant provocation, wryly described in the documentary as "the American Dream."

Those coordinates again: 18.308281 degrees North, -65.282656 degrees West.

puerto-rico-cocaine-treasure-legend-coordinates-treasure-map-netflix-originals
Coordinates provided at the end of Netflix's "The Legend of Cocaine Island." Netflix
'Legend of Cocaine Island' Netflix Documentary Ends With Treasure Map to a Possible $2 Million Drug Cache | Culture