Seattle-Tacoma International Airport officials are calling it their largest drug bust ever, and all the cocaine was headed to Anchorage.
Three men, including two Anchorage residents, were indicted Thursday on federal drug conspiracy charges after police found nearly a dozen packages of cocaine -- with a street value police said would easily exceed half a million dollars in Alaska -- wrapped and stuffed in boxes of Nerf and Hot Wheels toys in their baggage.
"All together we came up with 11 kilos," Port Police Chief Colleen Wilson said Thursday. "Two or three kilos is what my narcotics detective is remembering" as the previous record bust.
Isaiah Manuel Campbell, of Tacoma, Wash., Miguel Antonio Pineiro Jr. and Thomas Lamont Steed, both of Anchorage, are facing felony charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine after they were caught preparing to depart for Anchorage, according to court documents. At the time of his arrest, Campbell was wanted by Anchorage police on 20 felony charges.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court by Detective Matthew Bruch of the Port of Seattle Police Department, the Transportation Security Administration on Sept. 30 found five kilograms of cocaine stuffed in a toy box wrapped with children's wrapping paper in Pineiro's checked baggage.
Each kilo brick of cocaine, about the size of a hardcover book, was tightly wrapped in cellophane and masked in oil or grease. They tripped off an alert during a routine X-ray, which indicated the bag contained explosives, the affidavit says.
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