Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Empanadas Con Cocaine: Baggage Handlers Smuggled Drugs in Treats

If you're looking for a side of cocaine with your empanada, you should have asked Jorge Guerrero about it last week because now he's been arrested.

Guererro was busted on Tuesday for his role as the ringleader of a drug trafficking ring bringing illegal narcotics into the U.S. from Ecuador. Homeland Security agents have been following the New York lost luggage handler for six-months and intercepted 11 lbs of heroin and cocaine being illegally smuggled into the country.

Empanadas weren't the only vehicle the smuggling ring used. They also hid drugs inside some sweet treats.

Homeland security found drugs tucked into candy bar wrappers, candy, containers of sugar, and oatmeal cookie packages.

Agents also claim that Guererro and his five accomplices smuggled 3 pounds of liquid cocaine into the country by soaking scuba diving certificates in the substance, reports ABC News.

That's pretty ingenious, smuggling drugs in an essentially two-dimensional object.

Smuggling drugs into the U.S. is automatically a federal offense because it involves foreign affairs. Often drug trafficking charges go hand-in-hand with drug possession charges which is what happened to Guerrero and his associates.

After all, if you're bringing it in, you must have it in your possession at some point.

After the feds are done with him New York State could also press charges against Guerrero and his team for drug possession in violation of state law. Double jeopardy might protect you from being charged with the same crime twice, but a crime under federal law is considered different from a crime under state law.

As if drug smuggling isn't bad enough, Guerrero is also being charged with theft. When agents searched his home they found many expensive items allegedly taken from the lost luggage Guerrero was meant to deliver to its owner.

'Empanadas con cocaine' may have sounded like a good smuggling trick but it probably left Guerrero with a bad taste in his mouth. We'll take ours stuffed with ground beef please.

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