In what has to be one of the more innovative schemes for getting Bolivian Marching Powder through customs, Robert Lopera, carried about 15 pounds (yeah, pounds) of blow inside (what I'll assume were fake) Ferrero Rocher chocolates and pistachio shells, according to the Customs and Border Protection officials who nabbed him coming into New York from Medellin, Colombia. And while yes, smuggling drugs is wrong and bad and illegal and all that, seriously, how's that for thinking outside the box, right? Also, Lopera gets big irony points for putting his nose candy inside actual candy.
You can read the details on the story over at the NBC New York website, but while you're here, how 'bout a run-down of some of the other (though, honestly, less creative) ways people have tried to smuggle drugs in food?Yeah, I thought you'd be interested.
1) Spiked Burrito, Santa Fe, New Mexico:
In 2006, a woman was caught trying to smuggle heroin into the Rio Arriba county jail by putting it inside a burrito. Oh, but the best part? She already had the H loaded up into a syringe and just wrapped the whole works up inside the tortilla.
2) Tacos con Aguja, Texarkana, Arkansas:
In another jailhouse scheme, a corrections officer at the Miller County jail was caught bringing in syringes inside tacos and marijuana in chili. How'd he get caught? Dude goes out for pizza at 3am, brings it back to the jail, then, twenty minutes later, comes back again with a big-ass bag full of tacos and chili. Needless to say, this made his sergeant somewhat suspicious--what with the guy acting like a stoned college student and all--so he opened the bag and, lo and behold, found bricks of mary jane underneath the chili and needles in the tacos. Oh, and also a bunch of crystal meth in the guys pockets.
In 1999, "Operation Ramp Rats" led to the charging of 58 people with various crimes after a sting put fake cocaine, guns and hand grenades on airplanes moving through Miami International Airport. Most of those charged were either American Airlines baggage handlers or employees of Sky Chefs--a company that supplies food for airlines. And while the baggage handler portion of the conspiracy might seem obvious, it's the Sky Chef angle that impressed me because they were hiding pounds of heroin inside the coffee filters used to brew java while in flight. According to a report on CNN, "Heroin was literally found in coffee packages that had been placed aboard the airplane in Colombia and flown (to the United States)," Scott said. "Based upon that, it became obvious to law enforcement officers that either Sky Chef or American was involved in (drug) distribution."
4) Roast Chicken with all the trimmings:
Okay, for starters, it's illegal to bring most foods into the country if you've been overseas. It's particularly illegal to bring a roast chicken stuffed with cocaine. Or six boxes of powdered soup mix also full of cocaine. Or a whole smoked monkey. The monkey didn't have any cocaine in it, but still... Pretty gross.
5) As if babies on planes weren't annoying enough, Chicago, Illinois:
An international ring of mother and grandmothers used baby formula cans to smuggle cocaine into the country. But because it looks kinda weird for some twitchy, sweating mule to be carrying a dozen cans of baby food but no baby, the group also used rented children to make things look more legit. Because everyone knows how much babies like cocaine.
This is just awesome: Peruvian police seize 1540 pounds of pepper-coated cocaine bricks hidden inside a frozen giant squid headed for Mexico and the United States.
7) Amazing what science can teach you, Austin, Texas:
In 2006, a can of Pringles was confiscated during a drug bust. And what was found inside when the officers went for a little snack? Crack cookies! Well, actually just plain old crack cocaine, cut into thin disks and packed inside the potato chip can. Maybe Pringles should co-opt that "No one can eat just one" slogan...
8) Everything--no, EVERYTHING--is better with bacon, Kent, UK:
Philip Tasker loved bacon. Philip Tasker also loved heroin. I think you can guess where this is going. Tasker was picked up by UK Border Control agents down by the docks. When they searched his Citroen van, what did they find? Boxes and boxes full of bacon. That's not illegal.
What is illegal is stuffing those boxes with three million pounds' (the money, not the weight) worth of heroin. What no one knows is how much bacon went to waste in the course of this smuggling operation. Sad...