U.S. authorities said Monday they arrested a Miami man who tried to smuggle into the United States cocaine disguised as candy Easter eggs.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said 23-year-old Esteban Galtes was arrested late Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport after federal agents searching his luggage discovered over 14 pounds (six kilograms) of cocaine, some of it concealed in egg-shaped pastel candy.
Galtes, who was returning from a week-long trip to Colombia, told agents that the candy was for his two children.
The rest of the drugs were hidden in another compartment of his luggage. ICE said the cocaine had an estimate value of more than 100,000 dollars.
Galtes appeared in Los Angeles federal court on Monday. If convicted on drug trafficking charges, he faces up to life in prison.
“Drug traffickers are always trying novel ways to conceal their contraband,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of ICE investigations in Los Angeles.
“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.” (AFP)