U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers in Tennessee seized a shipment of an illegal substance smuggled inside an unlikely container: peanut shells.
According to a CBP news release, officers at a hub in Memphis examined a shipment marked "REGIONAL BREAD ROASTED PEANUTS REGIONAL DUST SWEET MADE OF CORN" that was heading from Mexico to east Texas. After a suspicious X-ray, officers investigated further and found that once cracked open, the peanut shells had a white crystal substance inside, later identified as methamphetamine, WREG reports.
While peanut shells may be an odd place to discover hidden drugs, customs agents are used to finding the illegal substances in strange places.
"My experienced officers long ago lost all surprise at the smuggling methods they encounter every shift," said Michael Neipert, area port director. "Narcotics in fruit, nuts, baked goods, shoes, toys and all kinds of other items disguised as gifts or other legitimate shipments fly through the express consignment world.
Authorities seized 489 grams, or the equivalent of around 2,445 doses.
"These days you can get a gram of methamphetamine at half the price of what cocaine costs, and at twice the potency," said Neipert. "I'm proud we were able to keep this shipment from getting to its destination."