Ports of America in Freeport, Texas donated 45 boxes of ripe bananas to the nearby Wayne Scott Unit prison. When the prison officers unloaded the boxes, they "discovered something not quite right."
"One of the boxes felt different than the others," TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) said in a statement. "They snipped the straps, pulled free the box, and opened it up. Inside, under a bundle of bananas, he found another bundle! Inside that? What appeared to be a white powdery substance."
They counted 540 packages of cocaine worth approximately $17,820,000. Now that's bananas!
Succulents are key to stabilizing the fragile coastal ecosystems of California; they're also extremely popular in China and South Korea, thanks to a fad that's sweeping Asia. Read the rest
If you're not up to speed on Hobby Lobby's sketchy investments in illegal artifacts from Iraq, here's the lowdown. Read the rest
A gentleman in Ottawa, Canada -- eager to get sent to jail in order to sell weed he had packed inside of eight Kinder Surprise plastic egg "yolks" and stored in his rectum -- threw a rock at a police car in front of the courthouse. Wish granted. But once inside, his body got the best of him. From the Ottawa Citizen:
It’s not known if the guard noticed (Damian) O’Reilly was in some discomfort but whatever the reason, the guard had suspicions that O’Reilly might be smuggling drugs. The young inmate was escorted to dry cell No. 9. A dry cell has no plumbing and guards will either attempt to seize the contraband or wait for it to be expelled.
In this case, it was O’Reilly himself who, once alone in the dry cell, removed eight Kinder Surprise eggs from his rectum. A guard had to then collect the eggs and photograph them before securing them inside the Ottawa police drug safe at the jail.
In all, the eight eggs contained 59 grams of marijuana, a gram of MDMA, tobacco, rolling papers and matches.
More than $1 million in marijuana was found hidden inside brand new Ford Fusions at dealerships in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The automobiles were manufactured at plants in Mexico and somewhere along the way, the spare tire wheel wells were packed with pot. Talk about a dealer incentive!
"We're aware of the situation and are taking it very seriously," a Ford Motor Company spokesman said Saturday. "We are working with the FBI and Customs on an extensive investigation. We have confirmed that this is not happening at our plant or at our internal shipping yards."
US Customs and Border Protection officers in Pharr, Texas found two tons of marijuana packed inside key limes on a truck near the Texas-Mexico border.
According to CNN, "over 34,000 of the fake fruit packages were discovered by an imaging inspection system and narcotics K-9 team."
Last year, carrots were the mule of choice in the area.
Three-thousand pounds of marijuana were seized recently at Pharr International Bridge on the Rio Grande. Customs and Border Protection report that the weed, disguised as watermelons, did not fool the sniffer dogs during inspection of a 1993 Thermo King tractor-trailer.
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The search resulted in the discovery of 390 packages disguised as watermelons. The packages contained a total of 3,000 pounds of alleged marijuana, which CBP reports is valued at approximately $600,092.
“Smugglers continue to be creative as they attempt to introduce illegal narcotics into our country,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry in a release. “Our frontline CBP officers’ experience, vigilance and attention to detail prevents the introduction of these dangerous drugs into our country.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested a Nogales, Arizona woman for allegedly smuggling $3000 worth of methamphetamine from Mexico inside two faux burritos. From UPI:
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A narcotics-detecting canine alerted officers to the presence of drugs and a search determined the woman was carrying more than a pound of methamphetamine in two packages that had been wrapped in tortilla shells to make them look like burritos.
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.
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:
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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.
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.
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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.
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.”
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
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."