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A Drug Cartel Is Selling Lawn Decorations on Amazon to Hide Their Meth Shipments

A Drug Cartel Is Selling Lawn Decorations on Amazon to Hide Their Meth Shipments

According to a recent Forbes report, professional crooks are snatching unconventional pharmaceuticals (meth) from Amazon packages. To keep suspicion at bay, the packages are marketed as mundane landscaping products. Through Amazon vendor accounts, the dealers are able to ship their bounty internationally under the cover of their vendor accounts. As Forbes writes, at least five vendor accounts have been flagged for possibly being involved in global trafficking schemes. The disguised items are likely shipped to overseas cronies or to wherever the next destination is.

An investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations office and Amazon found that a narcotics organization was behind the scheme. The plot involves transporting multiple kilos of drugs simultaneously.

Several packages containing “bulk controlled substances” were intercepted by Customs and Border Protection in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 28, before they were able to reach their destination in Australia from the suspicious vendor accounts. A parcel containing pre-owned slate stone used for toy railways and garden pots was inspected three days later, on Halloween, by Amazon and HSI agents in Michigan. It contained over 5 kilograms of methamphetamine. Nearly 6 kilograms of meth were found in it.

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In the case of the vendor accounts involved, it’s a bit unclear if they’re actually doing any legitimate sales, or if they’re just using a front company to send drugs disguised as products to their co-conspirators from time to time. Also, there is no indication of how long this trend has existed or how prevalent it might be. We reached out to Amazon for further information, and we will update this story if they respond.

This definitely isn’t the weirdest method that’s ever been conceived to traffic drugs (among other innovations, see: narco-submarines and fake carrots), but it is an ingenious way to conceal illicit distribution behind Amazon’s gargantuan shipping network and immense vendor community.

A Justice Department investigation into the drug shipment is being led by the southern district of California, along with Amazon and the HSI, according to Forbes. It’s unclear whether they’re able to locate e-commerce wizard Walter White, who developed this perverted business plan.


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