TODAY’S GENIUS AWARD GOES TO……
According to Federal Agents, a passenger who arrived in New York City on a flight from Guyana had seventy live birds hidden in a piece of luggage. The smuggling attempt was thwarted Saturday when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents inspected a black duffel bag being carried by a traveler who flew from Georgetown to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The traveler, a Guyanese citizen, was not arrested. Instead, he was not allowed entry into the U.S. and was returned to his home country. Agents found the finches stuffed inside individual plastic hair curlers. The birds are often used in “singing contests” popular among Caribbean immigrants.
The smuggling of finches from Guyana has previously resulted in the arrest of multiple travelers. The seized finches were quarantined and subsequently turned over to Department of Agriculture officials.
AND THEN THERE’S……
Two British senior citizens were removed from a Caribbean cruise ship and arrested after a “large amount of cocaine” was discovered in their cabin. The 70-year-old and 72-year-old suspects are being held by police in Portugal.
The Marco Polo ship, operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages, had returned to Europe from a cruise around the Caribbean. The elderly folks, who are thought to be a couple, were detained in Lisbon after Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria received information from the UK’s National Crime Agency.
According to the Portuguese force, the pair were arrested on suspicion of trafficking narcotics and have been remanded in custody. Officers boarded the ship when it docked in Lisbon and searched the cabin. There they discovered 20 to 22 pounds (9 to 10 kilograms) of the Class A drug stashed away in four pieces of luggage.
The suspects appeared in court in Portugal, where they were remanded in custody pending an ongoing investigation by forces in both Britain and Portugal.
OR HOW ABOUT……
A Salvation Army bell ringer in Colorado is charged with stealing a red kettle containing about $400 in donations.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported Friday that 27-year-old Nicholas Rosselis-Freeman is accused of taking the money on Nov. 30 at the end of his shift ringing a hand bell and taking donations outside a Fort Collins grocery store.
Authorities say he ran off with the kettle full of money when a Salvation Army officer approached to pick it up. Rosselis-Freeman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of misdemeanor theft and released on $500 bond.
No phone number could be found for him. The Salvation Army says this is the first time one of its kettles has been stolen in Fort Collins.
OKAY, ONE MORE……
The Arizona Department of Public Safety helped arrest three suspects accused of defrauding California’s recycling program out of $16.1 million by accepting monetary return for out-of-state recyclable goods.
Working with the California Department of Justice and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, DPS arrested 49-year-old Miguel Bustillos from Glendale, 57-year-old Anthony Sanchez from Tucson, and a third unnamed man.
The three men are accused of using Bustillos’ trucking company to smuggle out-of-state recyclable materials into California to cash in on the state’s recycling program that pays for empty aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
Through search warrants, the law enforcement agencies found 27,860 pounds of empty aluminum and plastic containers packed into trucks about to head to California. Bustillos and Sanchez were arrested and extradited to California for felony recycling fraud, attempted grand theft and conspiracy.