Drug smuggling is difficult and quite frequently hazardous, especially when illegal drugs are being moved across the border. Drug smugglers are regularly challenged to find new ways of moving their smuggled cargo past security checkpoints or drug dogs.
Sometimes these efforts prove successful but other times results are arrest and shocking headlines for the rest of us. Some recent drug smuggling busts not only shocked but amused readers at the lengths drug traffickers will employ to get their product from the fields and labs to the U.S. market place. The following are some of these stories:
Fake Carrots. Can you tell a real carrot from a bunch of drugs wrapped up in orange tape? The law enforcement officers along the U.S.-Mexico border sure can.
In January of this year, customs officers seized almost $500,000 worth of pot that was being shipped across the border wrapped in orange tape shaped to look like a carrot. Not surprisingly, image scans, along with drug-sniffing dogs, were able to detect the fake carrots for what they really were.
Carrots aren’t the only food used to hide drugs: last year, thousands of dollars of drugs were found inside fake cucumbers and tomatoes trying to make their way into the country.
Candy and Chocolate. At least these drug smuggling strategies involved food that is typically wrapped. But there have been recent drug busts involving candy and chocolate disguises, although these busts were committed on a smaller scale. One bust in particular involved marijuana that had been sent in the mail, disguised as wrapped-up chocolates. The result didn’t prove sweet for the smugglers.
Broccoli. One last food example must be noted. This involved an attempt to smuggle 700 pounds of marijuana concealed among broccoli plants. Unfortunately, for the smugglers, the law enforcement officers saw through the disguise.
Dead Bugs. Although a delicacy among some, dead bugs have also been used by smugglers recently to transport drugs. A powerful form of methamphetamine called “ya ba” was the subject of a big bust a few years back. The smugglers had tried to stuff the drugs into CD cases, chopsticks, and, yes, dead insects.
Foosball Table. If you’re heading across international borders to buy a lottery ticket, why do you need to bring a foosball table?
That’s question probably prompted customs officers to stop a woman arriving from Canada to New York in mid-January. The woman told border officers that she was headed to New York to buy Powerball tickets, but the officers didn’t bite. They sent drug-sniffing dogs to search the woman’s van, which contained a foosball table. Inside the table, dogs found about $60,000 worth of marijuana.
Breasts. Wonder why pat-downs at the airport can get so intimate? Because the human body has the capacity to conceal contraband, from drugs to explosives. A few weeks ago, a woman flying from Los Angeles to Australia was caught smuggling large quantities of cocaine in her bra.
The woman has a history of drug smuggling resulting in multiple arrests.
Just because your body has the capacity to conceal contraband, be forewarned that doing so can have dire consequences.
No Matter How You Transport Drugs, You Could Face Decades in Prison
All joking aside, the individuals involved in the above trafficking schemes face serious consequences for their crimes. When the value of drugs caught reaches tens of thousands of dollars, the penalties for federal drug crimes can be decades behind bars.
Don’t just take these charges lying down. There are a number of defenses that you may be able to use depending on your specific situation. If you have been arrested or charged with drug trafficking, get in touch with a federal criminal defense lawyer immediately.