The United States Customs service intercepted a record shipment of contraband heroin on Thursday (10 October).
LS Sign "Laredo"
Customs agent opens rear door of car and shows drugs in door
Officers pulling out back seat of car
Two men display drugs in back seat
CU Hands - Drugs taked out of rear seat
CU License plate
Interior of customs office - Drugs being removed from seat
EDITORS NOTE: Scenes showing heroin in automobile were restaged at the request of San Antonio, Texas, local television station covering the story.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United States Customs service intercepted a record shipment of contraband heroin on Thursday (10 October).The drug, concealed in an automobile, was discovered in a routine customs check at Laredo, Texas on the U.S.-Mexican border.The "retail" value of the heroin was estimated at about 40 million dollars, making this the biggest catch of smuggled heroin ever on the Mexican border.
Customs agents said the automobile -- with Canadian license plate was driver by Joseph Michel Caron, 33, of Montreal, Canada.With him was his wife, Ida, 30, also of Montreal.The car was routinely checked at Laredo, as it entered the United States from Mexico.A customs agent noticed that the back seat of the vehicle seemed unusually hard to the touch.Thinking that the Carons were attempting to smuggle liquor, he ordered a search.
The back seat was discovered to contain a large quantity of heroin.More heroin was found in the doors of the automobile.Customs agents said that Caron had purchased the heroin, presumably in Mexico, for 640-thousand dollars.It was presumably intended for sale in the United States.Mr.Caron, who gave his occupation as "gambler" was described as "cool as a cucumber" by the customs agents.Mrs.Caron, however, was visibly distressed, and said she knew nothing of the drugs.
The Carons were held in 250-thousand dollars bond each.They were arraigned on a federal charge of conspiracy to smuggle heroin into the United States.