15 people have been arrested in Los Angeles in connection with concrete-donkey-shaped lawn ornaments filled with $1.5 million of weed. The LA Times reported 200 burros were discovered at the Port of Long Beach, which were hidden in a shipment from Mexico, headed to a fictitious business in Fontana.
Authorities may have been tipped off, or simply realized that no one would actually want a statue of a Mexican donkey on their lawn, unless it was 3-foot tall, hollowed out and filled with marijuana.
Most of the suspects are being held on immigration violations, although you have to give the cartels originality points. I wonder if the new “trojan burro” policy was a mandate from the top, or the work of an ambitious go-getter, like the inventor of the drug sub.
Or maybe someone throughout the term “drug mule” one too many times, and things got literal. Either way, I’d have to say it’s a step back in terms of technology, creativity and design.
[img via LA Times]Perry
Enrique Portocarrero, a Colombian shrimp fisherman, was recently arrested and now faces extradition to the United States, on smuggling and conspiracy charges.
Portocarrero was charged with building more than a dozen mini-semi-submersibles, similar to a submarine although the crafts don’t fully submerge.
The vessels are designed to carry up to 8 tons of cargo and went for a million dollars a pop. The real value lied in the ship’s ability to avoid detection; leaving a small heat signature and negligible sonar appearance. The craft could make make the money back several times over after one trip.
The shift to submarines was made over a year ago, when all licensed craft off of the Colombian and Ecuadorean coasts became required to carry GPS signals, so police could track them.
Some of the semi-sub’s specs:
- 60-feet long
- 350-horsepower diesel engines
- Four-man crew
- State-of-the-art radio, GPS and satellite telephone communications
- Range of 2,000 miles