IAH Catches Man Smuggling Cocaine in Bags of Chips and Cookies

Ever wondered what four pounds of smuggled cocaine looks like?

By Katharine Shilcutt April 30, 2015

When I was in middle school in the early '90s, my stepfather was an HPD sergeant overseeing an undercover narcotics task force. His officers had nicknames like Quaalude and Boo and sported carefully manufactured appearances of sleaze and intimidation to match. The squad made plenty of busts both large and small, but one in particular was their so-called jackpot: a dining table stacked as high as a 6-foot-tall man with bricks of heroin, a few gallon bags of weed scattered around the pyramid of dope for good measure. My mother had plans to frame the Polaroid photo my stepfather had taken of him and his men standing around the table, goofy grins on their proud faces. But before she could, I snuck it out of the house to show my friends at school—after all, I was proud of my stepfather too.

The photo was passed around my friends in science class surreptitiously, until our teacher spotted us passing what looked like a note. To his horror, it was a Polaroid of the largest stash of hard drugs he'd likely ever seen, and I was immediately sent to the principal's office, who in turn proceeded to call my parents in another fit of horror. It took my stepfather coming to school in his uniform to get me—and my parents—off the hook, and I never again saw any of his drug bust photos from that point forward. "These aren't for show-and-tell," he said gruffly, though I could tell he wasn't that angry. After all, what's the point of hard work if you can't show off a little?

The U. S. Customs and Border Protection must have surely felt that same thrill and rush when they intercepted a passenger at George Bush Intercontinental Airport carrying over $60,000 worth of cocaine, which had been carefully hidden inside several bags of chips and a box of vanilla wafer cookies. Not too carefully, however, as photos released by the CBP showed today. Though it's far from the largest drug bust made by the CBP—there was the 15 tons of marijuana seized on the US–Mexico border near San Diego earlier this year and the $362 million cocaine bust in 2012 that netted over 4,800 pounds of the stuff—you just know the guys snapping shots of the four pounds of plastic baggies bursting with blow recovered from inside sacks of Tortrix Barbacoa Chips were pleased beyond all measure with this bust.

The photos demonstrate the meticulous way in which the vanilla wafer innards were carved out to allow bags of cocaine to be seated inside then covered up once again, though it looks like the culprit—German Adalberto Lancerio Bejarano, 50, a Guatemalan national—was a little sloppier with his handiwork on the Tortix chip bags. Lancerio Bejarano has been placed under arrest by the HPD and is currently awaiting prosecution. Meanwhile, it's drug bust show-and-tell day once again, though I'm pretty sure I won't get in trouble for sharing these photos.

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