Two New Bedford, Massachusetts men were arrested on June 6 for allegedly smuggling some four pounds of cocaine in a couple of adorable yellow Pokémon art cases that seem to feature the electric mouse Pikachu on the front.
According to a June 8 report from the news channel ABC6, an undercover United States Postal Service inspector put together a sting operation with New Bedford police detectives for 20-year-old Darren Casado Ruiz and 19-year-old Angel Rodriguez, who allegedly trafficked the Pika-cocaine from Puerto Rico to an apartment in the Massachusetts town. After the coordinated delivery between operatives, it was reported that Ruiz snatched the package from the porch and ducked through backyards to reach the red Jeep Renegade that Rodriguez was driving. Police then moved on the vehicle, stopped Ruiz and Rodriguez before they could get far, and immediately apprehended the two young men.
New Bedford deputies had a search warrant, ABC6 reported, and opened the package to find two heat-sealed Pokémon art cases, which look quite similar to the one that Crayola sells at Walmart for $20, stuffed with two kilograms (or four pounds) of cocaine. Police charged both Ruiz and Rodriguez with trafficking in excess of 200 grams of cocaine and conspiracy to violate the state’s drug law, according to a police report viewed by Kotaku, which could result in possible jail time for one year and a $1,000 fine for first-time offenders, according to Section 34 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ legislature.
In the police report, the status of this drug trafficking case is currently open. The report also named another individual who is possibly connected to the case and has been charged with assault and battery. Meanwhile, Rodriguez was also charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
In a press release announcing the arrests, the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts confirmed that five other similar packages had been sent from Puerto Rico to both Ruiz and Rodriguez’s addresses in the past two months. District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said the work of the state’s Drug Task Force helped stop the international cocaine trafficking operation.
“I’m very pleased that this investigation led to the seizure of a significant amount of cocaine,” Quinn said. “I would like to thank the various agencies for their cooperative effort, which resulted in these arrests.”
Kotaku reached out to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office for comment.
For now, it’s unclear when Ruiz and Rodriguez will appear in court.