A California man allegedly tried to smuggle over four pounds of methamphetamine out of the U.S. into Japan by disguising it in chocolate coating and Snickers candy bar wrappers.
According to Japan Daily Press, the 34-year-old Long Beach man almost smuggled his meth "booty" into Japan, but was nabbed at the Los Angeles International Airport during routine baggage inspections.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent inspectors found a large box inside the man's luggage that contained 45 individual wrapped candy bars; the "candy" was tested and discovered to be meth.
LAist reported the Court documents described the goodies as being "coated in a chocolate-like substance to make the contents of the package appear to be a real candy bar."
The Los Angeles Times reported the camouflaged meth equated to over four pounds of the drug. Reportedly, the meth was placed at street value of $250,000 (19.5 million yen).
“This scheme involved considerable planning and preparation and it shows the lengths to which smugglers will go in an attempt to elude detection,” Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles, said in a statement, reported the New York Daily News. “The fact this ruse was detected should serve as a deterrent for others who might be considering trying similar tactics.”
The suspect, Rogelio Mauricio Harris, has been arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. If convicted, he could face from 10 years to life in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.