Smugglers disguise marijuana as carrots

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On Sunday, the US border patrol in Pharr, Texas seized 2,500 tons of marijuana stuffed into faux carrots mixed in with real vegetables coming from Mexico. In November, agents there found bricks of marijuana and cocaine in bags of fresh carrots, but based on the image below from the US Customs & Border Protection's Instagram feed, it seems those smugglers weren't as creative with the packaging. Not that it helped this time.

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Man arrested with 51 turtles in his pants

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Kai Xu was arrested attempting to cross into Canada from Detroit, Michigan with 51 live turtles down his pants, mostly strapped to his legs. He was apparently smuggling the turtles he had bought to resell outside the US at much higher prices. From the Associated Press:

The investigation had started after a courier company in Detroit tipped the wildlife service to a package that had been shipped from Alabama addressed to Xu.

According to the court documents, agents watched as Xu allegedly opened various boxes in the rear of his SUV, took out several round clear plastic containers, and placed their contents into plastic baggies. He also had packaging tape and scissors.

“Special Agent (James) Fuller noticed irregularly shaped bulges under Xu’s sweatpants on both his legs,” the document states.

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Organized crime gangs keep trying to sell radioactive material to terrorists

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In the last five years, criminal gangs in Moldova have been stopped four times from selling radioactive materials, including bomb-grade uranium, on the black market. You have to wonder if they have also succeeded one or more times, and we just don't know about it yet.

From AP:

In that operation, wiretaps and interviews with investigators show, a middleman for the gang repeatedly ranted with hatred for America as he focused on smuggling the essential material for an atomic bomb and blueprints for a dirty bomb to a Middle Eastern buyer.

In wiretaps, videotaped arrests, photographs of bomb-grade material, documents and interviews, AP found that smugglers are explicitly targeting buyers who are enemies of the West. The developments represent the fulfillment of a long-feared scenario in which organized crime gangs are trying to link up with groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida — both of which have made clear their ambition to use weapons of mass destruction.

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Marijuana falling from the sky

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Earlier this month, a huge bundle of marijuana fell from the sky over Nogales, Arizona, crashing through the roof of a carport and destroying a dog house. Bill and Maya Donnelly turned the 23.8 pound of weed over to police who valued it at $9,500. From the Nogales International:

The Donnellys said the Nogales Police Department officers who responded told them that one of the most likely explanations for the incident was that an ultralight aircraft smuggling marijuana into Arizona from Mexico had accidentally let part of its load go early before dropping the rest further north of the border.

Bill Donnelly said that scenario made sense to him, adding that flying just one bundle seems like “an awful lot of risk for a little reward...”

“Thank God it didn’t land on our house,” he said. “Or over one of the kids’ rooms.”

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Homing pigeon caught dropping off drugs at prison

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Guards at the La Reforma jail near San Jose, Costa Rica caught this homing pigeon as it flew into the prison carrying a bag of cocaine and marijuana. Read the rest

Ivory smuggling route tracked via fake tusks with GPS

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National Geographic reporter Bryan Christy commissioned two fake elephant tusks embedded with GPS, then planted them to track ivory smuggling routes from the Central African Republic into Sudan. Read the rest

200 kilos of cocaine found inside hollowed-out pineapples

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Police in Spain found 200 pounds of cocaine stashed in hollow pineapples that arrived on a ship from Central America. From a statement released by the interior ministry of Spain:

"Among the thousands of fresh pineapples inside the containers, they found fruit that had been hollowed out and stuffed with drugs and then covered with a yellow wax that simulated the color of pineapple pulp."

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Smuggler busted with cocaine-stuffed pumpkins

Border cops at Canada's Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport searched a passenger's suitcase and found three pumpkins stuffed with 4.4 pounds of cocaine. Trick or treat. (CNN) Read the rest

Two Americans arrested in international narwhal smuggling ring

Okay, which of you all just got busted for smuggling narwhal tusks? Fess up. It was either one of you, somebody from Reddit, or both, right?

Image: N is for narwhal - finished, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from notahipster's photostream Read the rest

Something new under the sea

Drug cartels are building their own diesel submarines in the jungles of South America. A recently caught version wasn't fully submersible—the engine needed to bring in air via a snorkel that stuck out above the waterline—but it did have a range of 3000 miles. (Via Mo Costandi) Read the rest

Tyrannosaurus bones seized

Joseph O'Leary writes: "U.S. officials on Friday seized the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus dinosaur that Mongolia wants returned on suspicion that it was smuggled to the United States from the Gobi desert." Read the rest