Duct tape, diapers, and drug mules

Submitted by:
Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief


02/06/2013

U.S. Customs agents recently busted two women at JFK airport who were caught smuggling numerous kilos of cocaine in thick “diapers” made of duct tape.

While this certainly wasn’t the first time someone has used diapers to try to smuggle contraband — including actual, real-life diapers on actual, real-life babies — it does provide an impetus to think about drug runners.

When it comes to drug mules, the sky’s the limit when it comes to where and how they’ll hide the goods. Remember to always be thinking outside of the box (or the boxers, I guess!) during your encounters, regardless of whether or not they’re initially drug-related.

Does something look out of the ordinary with someone’s clothing or the way they’re holding themselves? In the case of the diaper-smuggling duo at JFK, at least one of them was reported to have been noticed walking oddly.

How about someone’s behavior? Are they too nervous about a simple speeding ticket? Are they making it clear they can’t end their discussion with you quickly enough? How about simple stories that don’t jibe?

Contraband discovery tips are innumerable, and we’ve shared scores in the past, but the bust at JFK serves as a reminder that the hunt can never stop and the need to be ultra-observant and ultra-curious is constant.

As you’ll note, we will have a special emphasis on drug interdiction during the month of February, so if you have any tips or ideas to share, please email me.

Stay safe out there my friends. 


Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community.

On a daily basis, Doug is in close personal contact with some of the top subject-matter experts in law enforcement, regularly tapping into the world-class knowledge of officers and trainers from around the United States, and working to help spread that information and insight to the hundreds of thousands of officers who visit PoliceOne every month.

Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Contact Doug Wyllie



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