Hair Weaves And Spanx Used To Smuggle Drugs
Federal prosecutors today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging 12 people with smuggling as well as attempting to smuggle cocaine and heroin from Panama into the United States.
Although drug smuggling is not that unusual for today's times, what is unusual is how the drugs were smuggled by the ring. Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kravetz said the smuggling network involved female couriers with packets of uncut cocaine and heroin sewn into Spanx who tried to cut the border between Texas and Mexico. A cucumber aloe mixture was used to fool the drug sniffing dogs.
After several couriers were caught with drugs in their Lycra infused underwear, they resorted to sewing drugs into their hair weaves and wigs. They also used a different array of aromas to try to hide the drugs with no great success.
After receiving the drugs in Panama, the couriers traveled by bus or plane to Mexico, then attempted to cross on foot into the United States at Texas border towns including Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville. Authorities said the ring distributed cocaine and heroin to street-level dealers in downtown Wilmington; Elkton, Md.; and Avondale and Kennett Square, Pa.
Authorities said 10 of the defendants named in the indictment are either in custody or under supervised release, including three alleged couriers in Panama for whom authorities are seeking extradition.
All defendants named in the 20-count superseding indictment, are charged with possession with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and one or more kilograms of heroin, and conspiracy to smuggle similar amounts of those drugs. Each of those charges carries a mandatory prison term of 10 years upon conviction, and a maximum sentence of life.Kravetz estimated that the drug network allegedly smuggled or attempted to smuggle at least 15 kilograms of cocaine and five kilograms of heroin over a three-year period starting in 2008.