Crystal meth fails to arrive Express Mail
A drug-sniffing dog finds contraband in a SpongeBob doll
U.S. postal inspectors seized an Express Mail parcel containing 1.75 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside a cloth SpongeBob SquarePants doll, according to papers filed in federal court yesterday.
On Thursday a parcel arrived in Honolulu, and a drug-sniffing dog gave a positive alert for the presence of narcotics. After obtaining a warrant, inspectors opened the parcel and discovered methamphetamine in an amount "more consistent with distribution," an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint said.
The parcel was addressed to Joshua Santos at a Hilo residential address. Santos was charged with attempting to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
According to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration affidavit, agents took the following actions:
Federal drug agents placed an electronic beeper device inside the package and replaced the real drugs with "pseudo methamphetamine," the affidavit said. On Friday a postal inspector posing as a mailman delivered the parcel.
From the beeper signals, surveillance units determined Santos and a woman, who got into a sport utility vehicle and drove off, had taken the parcel with them. They followed the two in the SUV. The driver "performed numerous unique driving methods" to try to determine whether they were being followed.
The two drove to a home in Keaau, and the beeper signals indicated the parcel was being opened. Law enforcement officials entered the home and arrested Santos.
The home was searched, and the SpongeBob doll with the fake methamphetamine and the cardboard box it came in were recovered from under a bed.