Cocaine Worth $1 Million Hidden in Bananas at Washington Safeway Stores: 'We Don't See That Very Often'

Police in Washington State are investigating after huge cocaine shipments were found at three Safeway stores, a haul reportedly worth more than $1 million.

Drugs were stuffed inside boxes of bananas at stores in the cities of Woodinville, Bellingham and Federal Way, KING5 reported, citing law enforcement sources. The cocaine appeared to have been sent to each location in similar quantities, marked with the letters "CK."

Police said 23 kilos of cocaine had been recovered in Bellingham and 22 kilos was recorded in the Woodinville store. The amount discovered in Federal Way was not immediately clear. Authorities said the Woodinville stash alone was valued at more than $550,000.

"That's huge, we don't see that very often," King County Sheriff's Office sergeant Ryan Abbott told KING5. Police said they will now investigate how the batches of drugs are linked.

It is yet to be clarified exactly when each batch was found. Investigators confirmed produce workers in the Bellingham Safeway contacted police last Sunday after finding the cocaine at the bottom of the banana boxes, reportedly sent from a Safeway distribution center.

Images of the weekend cocaine bust spread quickly on social media this morning as local news stories of the discovery attracted hundreds of comments. A close-up picture of the Woodinville batch was published to Twitter by KING5 journalist Kalie Greenberg. The cocaine appeared to have been split into dozens of separate packages and wrapped in plastic.

In #Woodinville @KingCoSheriff said roughly 50 pounds of cocaine were found inside a container of bananas 🍌 at the @Safeway totaling $550,000. @KING5Seattle

📸: @kingcosoPIO

— Kalie Greenberg (@KalieG_KING5) August 22, 2019

Abbott told KOMO a kilo of the drug has a street value around $25,000. He stressed a probe is ongoing to determine where the bananas originated. The cocaine will be passed to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which looks at drug trafficking and distribution cases.

Safeway has not yet commented. Law enforcement told KING5 the Safeway distribution center that is believed to be involved serves more than 140 stores but is not located in the state.

It is not the first time a vast quantity of cocaine has surfaced in banana boxes. In April this year, German supermarket workers found over half a ton of cocaine hidden inside banana crates which had been successfully distributed to multiple Aldi retail stores, Die Welt newspaper reported (via Insider).

In Texas last year, police released multiple images of pallets of the fruit which was found to have contained a whopping 540 packages of cocaine with a street value of close to $18 million, USA Today reported at the time. Back in 2015, the BBC reported that police in Poland found a huge stash of cocaine valued at $21 million smuggled in banana crates from Colombia.