A Mr Potatohead toy containing 293 grams of ecstasy seized by Australian Customs at a mail centre in Sydney is seen in this undated handout photograph made available October 4, 2007. The parcel was posted from Ireland and sent to a residential address in Sydney's western suburbs.     REUTERS/Australian Customs/Handout     (AUSTRALIA).  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RTR1ULEX

The Drug-Smuggling Hall of Shame

Frozen meat, fake boobs and wigs: We take a look at the best fails when it comes to moving contraband narcotics

It’s been a busy few weeks in the world of creative drug smuggling. Last Friday, six men were arrested in Alabama for sneaking the prescription drug Suboxone—a narcotic painkiller—into a county jail by hiding it in Bibles. Five inmates were implicated, along with a contact on the outside.

But while the use of a religious text was a nice touch, the jailbirds can’t compete with 24-year-old Yudishtir Maharaj, who attempted to bring 7 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. packed in frozen goat meat. Customs officials stopped him at New York’s JFK Airport after he arrived on a flight from Port of Spain, Trinidad. When Homeland Security questioned him about why he had so much flesh-covered blow in his suitcase, he denied knowledge of the drugs and claimed he was just a construction worker (who apparently has a relentless hankering for goat meat).

Goat meat-covered cocaine = disgusting and sneaky.

These two cases have now been entered into the Vocativ Drug-Smuggling Hall of Shame, which awards brownie points to those individuals who demonstrate imagination, but aren’t so great when it comes to execution. Let’s take a look at some earlier inductees.


Once you pop, you can’t stop. This couldn’t be truer of the stash Texan police found: a Pringles can concealing solid cocaine thinly sliced to look like the delicious potato chips.


Fake Pregnancy Belly
Figuring that authorities would assume a mother-to-be would be the last person to try and get drugs out of the country, 28-year-old Canadian Tabitha Leah Ritchie tried to get 4.5 pounds of cocaine out of Colombia in her fake belly. Sadly for Ritchie, the Colombian border patrol see everyone as a potential suspect.


Breast Implants
Swallowing condoms full of coke or shafting the same is de rigueur, but one brave—and reckless—woman took it a step further and had actual breast implants full of drugs inserted into her body. She was flying from Colombia to Spain and was caught with almost 3 pounds of cocaine after customs discovered her bandaged chest during a pat down.



Leg Cast
If you think Amtrak could be a fairly safe way to move cocaine in a fake leg cast, well, you’re wrong. Daniel Ramirez, 21, was nabbed on the train between Chicago and California. But the fake bloodstain was a nice touch.



You can’t help but stare at this wig and imagine what the woman wearing it would look like, even sans drugs. Now imagine that same person, sweating up a storm because of the kilo of coke strapped to her skull. Police in Australia knew something was up with that busted do, and they busted the American right at the airport.


Mr. Potato Head
Australia must look back on the ’90s fondly because ecstasy is still a thing down there. Customs officials intercepted a children’s toy coming from Ireland that was stuffed with 10.5 ounces of tablets. Their figurine of choice: Mr. Potato Head—clearly a bad option because he looks straight-up shady.


Easter Eggs
Just in time for Easter comes this entry courtesy of Esteban Galtes, a 23-year-old Miami native who was busted at LAX after the po-po found dozens of pastel-colored eggs full of A-grade coke. Street value? $100,000.



Donkey Statues
Kicking off a wave of “drug mule” witticisms, 15 people were arrested after a shipment of 200 concrete donkey statues turned up at the Port of Long Beach—with around $1.5 million worth of marijuana inside. Total Trojan party horse.

Respond Now

Is This the Most Dangerous Tattoo in the World?

Elcin Poyrazlar

The Dumbest "Ice Bucket Challenge" Alternatives

Vocativ Staff

Ukraine's Cheap, Deadly DIY Drone Army

Dusan Sekulovic

Ukraine Rises Against Russian Invasion

Sarah Kaufman

ISIS Launches Brutal New Propaganda War Using Hostage Journalist

Markham Nolan

Junk Food Fight: Students Tee Off on Michelle Obama on Social Media

M.L. Nestel

Terror From Above: ISIS is Now Using Drones on the Battlefield

Tomer Michelzon

For Thieves, Legos are Like Uncut Diamonds: Untraceable & Invaluable

Shane Dixon Kavanaugh
Join the Fray
“Rollin’ Coal” Is Pollution Porn for Dudes With Pickup Trucks