Photos of people busted for smuggling (mostly drugs) in everything from Elmo dolls to other bricks of drugs.
For some reason, I’m absolutely captivated by smuggling. More specifically, people smuggling things inside of other things. There’s just something that delights me about the creativity and effort that goes into the smuggling gambit… coupled with the humiliating photo when the person is caught. Magnifique.
Which brings us to today’s list of 11 ridiculous photos of creative smuggling attempts gone wrong. I’ve collected tons of these over the years — and it was a brutal process narrowing it down to 11 — but here are some of my absolute favorites.
1 | The man in the car seat
You cut one more hole in a strategic place in that vinyl and this transforms from “smuggling illegal immigrant across the border” to “high-budget version of the hole-in-the-movie-popcorn trick.”
2 | Or are you just happy to see me?
There’s a huge underground world of animal smuggling — I see articles all the time about people trying to take all kinds of exotic animals from place to place. Well, usually from Thailand to somewhere. Thailand is to animal smuggling what Rio is to plum smuggling. Anyway, this guy was smuggling pigeons. I’m guessing not to New York.
3 | The print cartridges
First off, I’m not sure that heroin is any more expensive than printer ink. These Venezuelan smugglers might be better off going legit and getting into the ink game. Secondly, in a way, there are more parallels between the ink sales model and the drug sales model than anyone at HP, Epson, Canon, etc. would like any of us to recognize.
4 | The asparagus disguise
Imagine getting drug tested after you receive THIS from your buddy down in Colombia. Not only would your urine test positive for cocaine, but it would smell terrible, too.
5 | Everything here made of drugs
Drugs being smuggled inside of drugs fascinates me. In this case, it was hashish inside of marijuana. It’s like a turducken of drugs.
I always assumed that smugglers would hide a hardcore drug instead of a less hardcore drug to try to get a lesser sentence if they get caught. But, according to the DEA, they do it because there’s no honor among thieves — they want to pay their smugglers and runners less money by tricking them into thinking they’re transporting a less valuable haul.
6 | Is that where I put my bullets?
The above explanation works for why a smuggler would hide a more expensive drug inside a less expensive drug. As for why someone would hide bullets inside of marijuana — that really doesn’t make any sense. Especially only three bullets.
Is it like a rare special prize they only hide inside a few packages of marijuana, like a Wonka golden ticket? I just don’t know. (And either does the DEA — they say that this was the first and only time they ever found ammunition smuggled inside of a controlled substance.)
7 | Nothing to see here, just 150 bottles of gay lube oil
If the point of smuggling drugs is to try to remain inconspicuous, this clearly missed the mark. Even a customs agent who’s hung over, working on two hours of sleep, 15 minutes away from his lunch break, texting AND trying to switch careers would perk up if he saw a gross of gay lube oil passing across his table.
8 | Elmo like cocaine?
And suddenly his seduction of Katy Perry starts to make more sense.
9 | The drug padded bra
I love the British newspaper’s caption accompanying the drug-filled bra. “Criminals favor tall, flat-chested women who don’t arouse suspicion when they have a fuller figure.” In other words: This smuggling technique works perfectly if you’re a tall woman who is more qualified to work at Raisins than Hooters.
(Welcome to Raisins! Four of you?)
10 | There’s more cocaine in this cast than the ’75 SNL cast
This one is from last year. It was a 66-year-old man who flew from Chile to Spain, and got caught with an entire leg cast made out of cocaine. There were two especially crazy points about the story.
One: The cast was real and operational… this guy’s left shin had been broken on purpose so it would need to be set with the cast. Made of cocaine. And two: The guy figured he wouldn’t get caught because the pungent odor of his feet would mask the smell of the cocaine.
11 | The beetles are full of drugs
These beetles are just trying to get by (customs) with a little help from their friends.