BUSTED: 12 crazy ways drugs are being disguised

ByBrandon de Hoyos KTRK logo
Thursday, February 16, 2017

From fruits and vegetables to flower shipments, vigilance at American airports and borders means drug smugglers have to find new ways to get their illicit products into the country.

Similarly, once in the US, the people who buy them also have some inventive ways to hide their stash, but sometimes they get caught.

While some of these disguises are downright convincing, others have been plain crazy.

They put the WHAT in the coconut?!

Last year, federal agents in Pharr, Texas, found nearly 1,500 pounds of pot stuffed inside coconuts being hauled by a tractor-trailer.

Overall, agents estimated it had a street value of $285,000.

These limes were really really green

Less than a year later, U.S. Customs and Border Protection became wise to a plot involving fake limes at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.

Homeland Security is investigating after U.S. Customs and Border Protection found drugs hidden in what appeared to be limes.

The January 2017 seizure of 4,000 pounds of fake, marijuana-stuffed limes made headlines around the world, and had a street value of $800,000.

Must have been eating their carrots...

Nutritionists will tell you the Vitamin A and beta-carotene in carrots can give you good eyesight. Some quick-thinking border agents must have had their share, because they could see right through this next one.

Pot-stuffed "carrots," 2,500 pounds in all, were seized with the help of an X-ray machine last January. They had a street value of $500,000.

Carrot-shaped packages filled with pot were found among a load of real produce in south Texas.
Border Patrol agents seized thousands of pounds of marijuana disguised as watermelons.

A seedy disguise

How about the time Border Patrol agents stopped someone hauling some "fresh" watermelons? Imaging technology revealed they actually held about 400 individual packages of marijuana.


While asparagus can give you odorous urine if you eat too much, some alleged Peruvian criminals probably thought it stunk getting caught with asparagus cans full of cocaine.

A two-month investigation in Lima ended with the arrest of six men, and the seizure of $174 million worth of cocaine, two vans, a Glock pistol, computers and other electronic equipment, plus $75,000 in cash.

Peruvian police recover 2 T of cocaine disguised as a shipment of asparagus with a European street value of $175 million USD.

In case you're wondering, it's not just the produce aisle giving would-be criminals inspiration for how to hide their drugs.

A step above...until you're caught

Shoes seemed like a pretty good disguise when a Guyanese citizen allegedly tried smuggling cocaine in his footwear through JFK Airport, in New York.

Officials said he had $67,000 worth of cocaine inside his kicks.

Now he's facing federal narcotics charges.

Wheel-y bad idea

Heavy machinery has even been used to hide drugs, like when Houston police found 60 bundles of marijuana and 13 kilos of meth inside the boom of an excavator.

In all, police said there was $700,000 worth of drugs in the construction equipment.

Police making a routine traffic stop ended up finding bricks of marijuana hidden inside an excavator
Packages containing methamphetamine were found in a car gas tank by Border Patrol agents at the Highway 86 checkpoint in Salton City on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Going nowhere

Attention criminals: Filling your gas tank with 40 pounds of meth won't get you to the grocery store or the movies, but it can land you in jail.

Border Patrol agents in California recently said a 19-year-old tried to get away with hiding the illicit drugs in his 2010 Ford Fusion. A K-9 cop caught a sniff. The teen ended up in handcuffs.

Is nothing sacred?

Puzzles are a great pastime for families, but someone in the Netherlands allegedly thought they'd make a cool place to stash and transport some narcotics.

Police traced these packages to a woman near Riverside, California. She was arrested, but only after they allegedly found more than 1,000 ecstasy pills and 90 Xanax stuffed inside a puzzle box and similar packages.

Riverside police released this photo of a puzzle box stuffed with drugs, which officials say was shipped from the Netherlands to a home in the 3000 block of Iowa Avenue.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said they arrested an Arizona woman who attempted to smuggle meth inside a bag of burritos.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The guacamole will cost you extra

There was no chorizo or ground beef in this burrito. Instead, Customs agents in Arizona said a woman tried to smuggle $3,000 worth of meth wrapped in a tortilla.

A poor waste of Mexican food, if you ask us.

That's cold, taking a little girl's purse (allegedly)...

Little girls everywhere love Disney's "Frozen." Sadly, a man was accused of using his 3-year-old daughter's purse themed with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf to hide drugs during a traffic stop.

Houston police said they found marijuana and MDMA stuffed inside, known on the street as "ecstasy, X, or Molly."

Police find drugs in child's purse after chase, Steve Campion reports.

Beware sweet tooths

Drugs that look like candy have been around a very long time, and it doesn't seem there is much stopping this trend.

A woman in Houston said her 15-year-old student got dangerous drugs that looked like Jolly Ranchers from a classmate.

Drugs that look like candy continue to be a growing problem.

These synthetic drugs look like ordinary candy, and come in forms including chocolate bars, roll-up candies, hard candies, lollipops, suckers.

The worst part? They can seriously hurt children and teens who ingest them, and many may not know the danger until it is too late.