The invoice for the truckload of produce delivered to the warehouse at Paterson's Farmers Market on Tuesday said there were two kinds of parsley on board: "plain" and "curly."
What the warehouse owner saw inside those cardboard crates was no load of plain parsley. And what he found was enough to put the curl in anyone's hair.
He discovered nearly 300 pounds of cocaine -- all in tightly compressed bricks and neatly wrapped in plastic -- plus just enough sprigs of parsley to camouflage the load. Wholesale, the cocaine is worth $3.5 million, police say, but its street value could have been 10 times that once the dealers cut it for distribution.
"It appears that it was a mistaken drop," said Capt. Mario Baldino, the head of the Paterson Narcotics Squad. "It didn't get to its intended destination."