Smuggling and dealing drugs is a risky business – so naturally you would assume that those who do it would take extra precautions to prevent them from getting caught, right?
Here we share the stories of five of the dumbest drug offenders.
1. Water Leak Leads to Drug Bust
Police had already received reports of suspicious people entering and leaving unemployed bodybuilder Bektash Keshavarzi’s Ryde apartment – but his operation unravelled spectacularly when a downstairs neighbour reported a water leak emanating from his unit.
Police obtained a warrant to search the unit; only to discover that it was completely empty – except for several safes, heightening police suspicions and triggering a surveillance operation. The apartment was leased to Mr Keshavarzi under a false name – and police soon discovered that Keshavarzi was renting a number of other apartments on Sydney’s north shore, well beyond his means.
Upon searching a property in Gladesville, police found a large amount of drugs including 88 kilograms of methamphetamine (‘ice’) and $330,090 in cash, as well as quantities of pseudoephedrine – a precursor used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. A raid on his unit at Mowbray Road, Artarmon also uncovered a number of false identity documents and over $12,000 in cash.
It is one of the biggest drug busts in Sydney in recent times.
Keshavarzi was charged with manufacturing a large commercial quantity of methylamphetamine, supplying a large commercial quantity of MDMA, and numerous fraud offences.
He appeared before Sydney’s Central Local Court last week, where he was granted strict conditional bail subject to $1 million security.
The DPP has reportedly made a ‘detention application’ to the Supreme Court in an attempt to keep him behind bars.
2. Drug Mule Narrowly Escapes Death
48-year-old British man Colmin Smith may not be the sharpest tool in the shed – but he’s a very lucky man.
Smith made the dangerous decision ingest 239 grams of cocaine packed inside 61 pellets in an attempt to smuggle the drugs from Antigua to London.
But shortly after takeoff, one of the pellets burst inside his stomach. He was able to alert a flight attendant to his sticky situation before losing consciousness.
The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Bermuda, and Mr Smith was rushed to hospital to have the packets removed. Thankfully, he survived the surgery and was able to make it to Court, where he was convicted of just one charge of possession and fined £471.
According to police, he could only be charged with possession because there was no evidence to suggest he intended to sell or smuggle the drugs to Bermuda.
3. ‘Breaking Bad’ Drug Manufacturer Caught
A Victorian woman who operated a ‘Breaking Bad’ style laboratory – out of a hotel room – was caught after police raided her room, finding a variety of lab equipment and chemicals.
25-year-old Melinda Hansen was charged with drug trafficking and possessing drug manufacturing equipment and documents.
Police reportedly found a wealth of evidence against the woman – including selfies which depicted her with large amounts of drugs and cash.
Numerous text messages exchanged between Ms Hansen and other individuals allegedly supporting allegations that she was a dealer.
4. Drug Dealer Posts Photo of Himself Supplying Drugs to Police
Showing off your stash is not the smartest way to run a drug operation – as one Florida man learned the hard way.
21-year-old male stripper Taylor Harrison made the fateful decision of snapping selfies of him sitting in his car topless, with a pile of cannabis and cash on his lap.
Unbeknownst to him, police were parked right next to him, witnessing the entire photoshoot.
To make matters worse, Harrison then attempted to sell drugs to the police officer, and even managed to snap a photo of the exchange taking place – which he shared on Facebook.
Police arrested and charged him with drug supply, and shared his mugshot on their Facebook page, noting: ‘Since Taylor was kind enough to share photos of us on his Facebook page, we thought we would share these photos of Taylor on our page.’
5. Man Lists ‘Drug Dealer’ as Occupation
25-year-old Richard Phillips’ day started on a bad note after he cut off a police car in traffic.
But things soon went from bad to worse after police followed and observed him dealing drugs.
He was arrested and taken back to the police station, where he was asked to fill out his arrest forms. But in an inexplicable act of stupidity, he listed ‘drug dealer’ as his occupation on the forms.
It later transpired that the car he was driving was stolen.
He was charged with a number of offences, including stealing a vehicle and drug supply.