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Florida Fisherman Faces Life in Prison After Cocaine Found at Sea

It's not uncommon for narcotics to be found at sea with drug distribution operations occurring in conjunction with fishermen. Typically, Fishermen are found to be transporting narcotics as "drug mules," however a recent event in Florida was somewhat different.

While at sea in the Gulf of Mexico, a Florida long line fisherman by the name of Thomas Zachery Breeding came across 20 kilos (roughly 45 pounds) of packaged cocaine. Rather than turning in the cocaine, he set up a team of distributors to aid him in selling the drugs. He was arrested in the summer of 2016 along with four individuals and charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance

In September of 2016 Breeding was indicted and pleaded guilty along with the four other individuals involved. Breeding was also charged with transporting a firearm, which is against the law since he was already on record as convicted felon for a previous unrelated conviction. He now faces a life imprisonment sentence to be determined on February 16. In addition, according to court records, Breeding faces an additional fine of $4.25 million.

Finding Cocaine at Sea

Assessing the consequences of his actions and reflecting on his poor judgement, Breeding wrote a letter to News Herald in Panama City, FL. He stated that this particular case has been an eye opener for him. He discourages fellow residents from following in his footsteps if faced with a similar circumstance.

If you have faced any convictions or arrests involving narcotic distribution and conspiracy, it is in your best interest to contact a professional. Criminal defense attorneys that work with drug crimes can assess your case, educate you on the possible legal outcomes, and help protect your rights during the entire process.


Florida man faces life for selling cocaine found at sea. (2017, January 26). Retrieved January 30, 2017, from

Zack McDonald | 747-5071 | @PCNHzack | [email protected] (2017, January 25). Fisherman facing life in prison after finding cocaine at sea. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from

'What not to do': Fla. fisherman who hauled in $500,000 worth of cocaine faces life in prison. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2017, from

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