Dumb crook of the day

What appears to be French customs officers catching a smuggler with hummingbirds in his pants!

In 2010, French customs officers at the Rochambeau airport in Cayenne, French Guiana after noticing some suspicious bulges, conducted an intimate pat-down of a Dutch tourist and found some tiny parcels in some very personal space.

The tale and photos are making the round and finchwench has interesting commentary about why and more…

Best comment I’ve seen is about “lots of little peckers in that photo”. Har.

Thanks, Ursarodina

Smuggler busted with 72 cocaine capsules in stomach

Pretty fancy X-Ray tech

A 20-year-old Irishman had a $200,000 lunch — and now he might have to pay.

Security personal at a Sao Paulo, Brazil airport on Monday detained a nervous traveler later allegedly found to be smuggling approximately 72 bags of cocaine in his stomach, the Irish independent reports.

Authorities with the Brazilian Federal Police released x-ray images of the suspect, identified only as F.B.B., which appear to show his belly full of drugs. The nearly two-pound stash of coke is estimated to be worth $200,000.

Police said the man was boarding a flight to Lisbon en route to Brussels. Instead of making the trip, authorities escorted the man to a nearby hospital where the capsules were removed, MSNBC reports.

The suspect is charged with international drug trafficking and could face up to 15 years in prison.

No mention of which end of the alimentary canal was utilized to remove the cocaine capsules. 🙂

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Are you glad to see me or is that a snake in your pants?

The critters were wrapped in pantyhose

Never mind ants in your pants, what about snakes and tortoises?

That’s what authorities at Miami’s international airport said they found inside the trousers of a passenger as he tried to board a flight for Brazil.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said the man had seven exotic snakes and three tortoises wrapped in nylon bags that had been stuffed into his pants.

He was discovered as he went through a body scanner at one of the airport’s security checkpoints on Thursday and arrested by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials for violating animal trafficking laws.

I hope they checked the reptiles for radiation exposure. 🙂

Suitcases full of baby animals found at Thailand airport

A 36-year-old United Arab Emirates citizen, was waiting to check-in for his flight at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on his way to Dubai when he was apprehended by undercover anti-trafficking officers, who had been monitoring him since his black market purchase of the rare and endangered animals, according to the FREELAND Foundation, an anti-trafficking group based in Thailand.

When authorities opened the suitcases, the animals yawned, said Steven Galster, director of FREELAND, who was present during the sting. There were two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear and two macaque monkeys – all about the size of puppies.

“It looked like they had sedated the animals and had them in flat cages so they couldn’t move around much,” Mr Galster said. Some of the animals were placed inside canisters with air holes…

“It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We’ve never seen one like this before,” Mr Galster said. “The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases.”

Lock him away in a cage comparable to those he used for these animals.

Feds catch world-class spider smuggler

Unlike many of the thousands of people who smuggle wildlife into Los Angeles every year, the authorities say, Sven Koppler chose not to conceal his exotic tarantulas under his clothing. They say he bundled them in multicolored straws or plastic containers and sent them in boxes through the United States Postal Service.

Mr. Koppler, 37, arrived in Los Angeles from his native Germany on Wednesday intending to meet an associate in the tarantula trade, said Mark Williams, an assistant United States attorney here with the environmental crimes section. Agents from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service took him into custody as he left the airport. “This will definitely have a significant impact on the tarantula trade, given the volume of tarantulas this guy was selling,” Mr. Williams said.

Tarantulas can fetch up to $1,000 each for females of breeding age.

Mr. Koppler was charged Thursday morning with one count of illegally importing wildlife into the United States, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Mr. Koppler remained in federal custody, and a public defender was assigned to him.

The tarantulas that were confiscated — more than 1,000 of them — remained in federal custody as well, designated as evidence for the remainder of the investigation, said Mr. Williams. Their next stop will be local zoos…

Fish and Wildlife Service agents and postal investigators posed as buyers and contacted Mr. Koppler at his home in Wachtberg, Germany, to request tarantula shipments in the spring and summer. Mr. Koppler complied, federal agents said, sending a package in April of about 71 tarantulas (one was dead). In November, he sent four more batches with a mix of live and dead cargo, they said, adding that each purchase included Mexican red-kneed tarantulas.

Federal agents said their review of records of Mr. Koppler’s transactions show he had earned about $300,000 selling tarantulas to people in more than 40 countries, including nine buyers in the United States…

“He made really good money doing that,” Mr. Williams said of Mr. Koppler. “He had clients in every continent in the world and several states. He was a prolific wildlife smuggler.”

Yes, he’s very good at being a creep, exploiting endangered wildlife, avoiding rules designed to protect critters from sleazy bastards who sell them to equally ill-bred buyers.

Ranchers Everyone alarmed by killing near border

Sue and Rob Krentz celebrating 100 years of their family ranch – 2008

The murder of a prominent Arizona rancher near the Mexican border is spurring charges that Washington is doing too little to stop Mexico’s raging drug war from spilling over into the United States.

Robert Krentz was shot last Saturday while working at his remote cattle ranch some 30 miles northeast of Douglas on the Arizona-Mexico border.

Investigators tracked the footprints of the suspected gunman about 20 miles south to the border with Mexico, prompting some authorities to blame smugglers or illegal immigrants for the killing.

The ranchers have feared for their lives for a long time and they’ve told the people from Washington, but they don’t pay attention to us,” Michael Gomez, the mayor of Douglas, told Reuters.

“This continues to be a hot area for illegal crossings and they have to do something to stop it…”

The killing comes amid ever-more brazen and brutal attacks by cartels in northern Mexico that are fighting for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes into the United States…

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security expressed “outrage” on Thursday at Krentz’s murder and posted a $25,000 reward for “information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individual or individuals responsible…”

The area in southern Arizona where Krentz was murdered lies on the edge of a furiously trafficked corridor for both drug and human smugglers.

Without additional security, residents in Douglas said Krentz’s murder left many angry and fearful for their own safety.

Governor Bill, here in New Mexico – not for the first time – sent National Guards down to the Mexican border to patrol.

Many snowbirds who traditionally roll south for the winter in RV’s and trailers to home-up for the cold season along the Mexican border are staying further north in New Mexico and Arizona – or going further west into California. The open spaces which always allowed for free camping – also facilitate the best routes for smuggling, the most danger for retirees trying to enjoy a warm, dry winter.

Why is everything moving under this man’s shirt?

Customs officials in Norway have arrested a man who they say tried to smuggle 24 reptiles into the country by taping them to his body.

Fourteen royal pythons rolled up in socks were found taped to the man’s torso and 10 geckos held in small boxes were taped to his legs.

Officials were alerted to the illegal haul after a tarantula was found in the man’s luggage.

The 22-year-old was travelling to Kristiansand on a ferry from Denmark.

The snakes, which are not endangered, are the smallest of the python family and are not venomous.


Texan gets 8 years for gun smuggling to Mexican drug gangs

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

A Houston man has been sentenced to just over eight years in prison for helping buy more than 100 military-style firearms, some of which ended up in the hands of Mexico’s violent drug cartels.

Prosecutors say John Phillip Hernandez was one of the main members of an organization of 23 people who purchased 339 weapons in a 15-month period. At least 40 of these weapons have been recovered in Mexico and three have been found in Guatemala, according to court documents.

Hernandez was sentenced after pleading guilty in July to one count of making a false statement to a federal firearms licensee.

Buying weapons is legal in Texas, but the purchaser must fill out a government form that indicates whether the purchaser plans to keep the gun for himself or give it to a third party. Hernandez claimed the guns were for himself.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner said Hernandez, 26, merited a stiffer sentence. “The defendant’s actions strengthened the drug cartels by arming them with arsenals that let them continue their criminal conduct,” Hittner said, and led to the killings of eight people in Mexico.

Throw away the key!

Spider-smuggler stopped in Germany


German customs officials have detained a man who was trying to smuggle more than 160 large trapdoor spiders into the country from Switzerland.

The Swiss driver was also carrying 45 boxes of cockroaches as food for his eight-legged cargo, they said.

The spiders, most of which were “as big as a fist“, were found wriggling around in boxes and plastic bags in his car.

The same man was stopped at the same place two years ago trying to bring some 1,000 spiders for sale at a fair.

“Of course, the officers didn’t open anything. They knew immediately what was going on,” a spokesman for the customs office told the AFP news agency.

Gives me an excuse to use one of my own photos. That’s the front door to a critter something like these – living in my back meadow.

Pigeons – and more – found down traveller’s trousers

Daylife/Reuters Pictures

An Australian traveller was caught with two live pigeons stuffed in his trousers as he returned from a trip to the Middle East, customs officials said today.

The 23-year-old man was searched after authorities discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage, said Richard Janeczko, the national investigations manager for the customs service.

They found the pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and strapped to each of the man’s legs with a pair of tights. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant.