Customs officials at Trudeau Airport in Montreal, Canada have confiscated three Halloween pumpkins from a woman’s luggage. They got suspicious that they were being tricked, when they viewed high density gray masses inside the gourds through the scanners. These turned out to be bags full of cocaine, weighing in at over 2 kilos. The Mounties have now taken over the case from the Canadian Border Services Agency. These were not destined to be Jack O’Lanterns, it would seem, more like Crack O’Lanterns.
There have been 173 seizures of drugs at Montreal Airport this year, but this one was a real Halloween surprise. The would-be Halloween trickster has been revealed as Mercedes Jerez Farias, 26, who is now up for two drug charges after trying to smuggle through her spooky squashes.
Border Services confirmed that Farias had been arrested , although it is still not known whether she was trying to come in or out of Canada, and where she had come from originally. However, the charge is for import of drugs. Jacqueline Roby, speaking on behalf of CBSA said, “The pumpkins seemed heavy, so we decided to run them through an X-Ray machine.” This is when the drugs were detected. Imagine the looks on the faces of the guards, when, instead of finding a cache of candies, these three innocent looking, homely pumpkins contained nearly two kilograms of suspected cocaine, wedged inside in plastic bags.
On Canada’s CBC news, it was reported that Mercedes Farias had been before a Montreal Judge and was charged with two counts of importing drugs and possession of drugs, with the intent of trafficking them. The paperwork handed in at the courts suggest she may live in Delson, which is south of the city. Her Halloween heist will not seem so crafty if she gets convicted, as she will face two years in prison. To find and confiscate Halloween pumpkins stuffed with cocaine is a first for the Montreal Airport staff, and they are still aghast at the audacity of the holiday themed smuggler.
Of the 173 seizures at Trudeau Airport to date in 2013, 44 kilograms have been cocaine. Benoit Chiquette, who is the Regional Director General for the entire Quebec area issued a statement that read, “Border services officers work tirelessly to intercept narcotics regardless of how they are hidden.” She went on to add that grabs like this one all help “by stopping potential traffickers from using our international airports for their illicit cross-border activities.”
Farias hadn’t gotten around to carving evil faces into her cargo, but holes drilled into the tops of the three pumpkins gave away the fact that they may have a hidden surprise in them. One was green and two were orange. Jack O’lanterns are not unusually made out of green gourds so this may have been another clue to alert the authorities that this was no ordinary Halloween reveler. It is certainly, as they admitted themselves, a most unusual haul to find on All Hallow’s Eve and they were pretty pleased not to have fallen for the timely trick. The confiscated pumpkins that were stuffed with cocaine will no doubt join the millions of others that get disposed of today, now that the frivolities are over for another year. Whatever happens next for Mercedes Farias, this story is a Halloween horror she will never be allowed to forget.
By Kate Henderson