Miami Man Caught Smuggling Cocaine Hidden in Candy Easter Eggs at LAX
Most people's idea of a white Christmas does not involve candy Easter eggs. Then again, Esteban Galtes wasn't planning to celebrate with wholesome, Vermont-style snow.
The 23-year-old Miami resident was caught trying to smuggle approximately $100,000 worth of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport. He had tried to disguise most of the stash as colored candy Easter eggs.
Galtes was arrested Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations agents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection had searched his luggage and found more than 14 pounds of cocaine.
Galtes had tried to disguise most of the drug as pastel candy Easter eggs of various sizes. The rest was hidden under the cardboard bottom of a paper bag. He was returning to America after a one-week trip to Colombia.
Some of the cocaine eggs Galtes tried to slip past authorities
He tried to tell agents that the eggs were gifts for his two children. Perhaps a more seasonally appropriate holiday treat might have been more believable.
"Drug traffickers are always trying novel ways to conceal their contraband," Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Los Angeles told The LA Times. "But cocaine camouflaged as Easter candy is one of the more unusual tactics we've come across. Obviously two days before Christmas, this defendant didn't expect his trip would end with federal officers conducting an Easter egg hunt."
Arnold would make Horatio Caine proud. Galtes, not so much. He's being charged with importing a controlled suspect and could face up to life in prison.
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