May 21st, 2010
12:28 PM ET

Man accused of smuggling 15 pounds of cocaine in candy

Officials say Robert Lopera tried to smuggle 15 pounds of cocaine in these chocolate candies and in pistachios.

Being a drug mule isn't usually such a sweet deal.

But authorities say it was sweet for Robert Lopera, who is accused of trying to smuggle in 15 pounds of cocaine concealed in chocolate candies and pistachios - until he was arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on May 11.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped Lopera, a U.S. citizen, as he was trying to enter the country from Medellin, Colombia.

Lopera was selected for a baggage check, whereupon he handed over a suitcase and duffel bag.

According the to the complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York federal court, a customs officer found a gift package in the suitcase containing several boxes of chocolates and bags of pistachios. The bag seemed a little heavy for only candies and nuts.

Instead of their usual fate of being devoured, officials say, the Ferrero Rocher chocolates were poked and prodded until it was determined that they were filled with cocaine, as were the pistachio shells. Had these treats reached the streets, they could have brought close to $500,000.

Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are continuing to investigate the drugs' intended destination.

Lopera has been charged with illegal importation of cocaine and awaits federal prosecution.

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Filed under: Colombia • New York • U.S. • World
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. perryrants

    and he wasn't racially profiled!

    May 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dumb kids

    @RJ
    "drug users/packagers aren't exactly the smartest forms of life,"

    You'd be surprised at some of the IQ's of these "dumb drug smugglers'

    You think they make millions of dollars every year because they're simply clueless as to how to manage a business?

    ignorant statement.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SKJ

    Giving a whole new meaning to nose candy!

    May 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LASSIK

    Wow lots of replys on this one! Yea, make drugs legal (the really dangerous ones are given out by Drs) and the incentive to smuggle them goes way down. THe way to control the drug flow is by making it legal and accessable

    May 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack Handy

    Well, you know its all those danged dubm liberals fault. The Libs do it all the dang time boy they try to make us reds and gops and conservs like bad. We in da south have real true earth in our blood veins.. And if i ain't wanting no liberal dem in my store why not? why got to be so bad?

    dang Libs! why?W?W?W?

    =)

    May 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coaster

      say what?

      May 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • thunder89

      are you trying to call someone dumb?

      May 22, 2010 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. CLAUDETTE

    That is scarey imagine if it somehow fell into a childs hand ,he should be locked up and not see daylight ever,have no time for drug dealers at all,to me they are murderes as they are killing people

    May 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      It was more likely to end up in the hands of people who have money for cocaine... and those are not kids. Just because it was in chocolate doesn't mean that a kid was going to get it, he was just smuggling it that way. Like he was just going to lose some of them and a kid would pick em up??? Come onnnn

      May 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coaster

      I don't know many kids that are allowed to have the expensive double wrapped chocolates anyway. I believe most prefer Hershey's.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • thunder89

      Why do people that have no clue what they are talking about insist on putting in their 2 cents? obviously this isnt going to find its way to kids. its going to be taken to a house, emptied out of the candy/pistachios, and sold.

      May 22, 2010 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alan Rock

    What a terrorible waste of tax dollars prosecuting this person. Now I am going to need to pay for his food, housing and medical care for the next ten years. I am all for jailing violent criminals, but jailing people for drugs is a bad public policy.

    May 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coaster

      Heh, the should have just made him eat his candies.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tom

    All your dumb comments about cocaine being legal or not ignores the fact that the lord Jesus controls everything, and he blessed the unite states, and therefore our laws our blessed. Therefore its our lord jesus' divine word to make cocaine illegal. God put it here like the apple to tempt us but our conservative politicians were smart enough to make it illegal to save us all from hell. May they all be blessed in Jesus name.

    May 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Really!?

      May 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • GodFearinChristian

      Praize Jesis!

      May 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      oh come on!!!! dude you need to open up your eyes and relize that drugs are illegal for the reason most on here are saying BECAUSE THEY CANT TAX MOST OF THEM therefor they cant make more money so they make them illegal. i am a christain and even i dont buy into your rant.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coaster

      So which is it? Are our laws that outlaw cocaine blessed, or did he|| freeze over and somewhere there was a conservative politician that was smart enough? oh, to make cocaine illegal. Only smart enough for that.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coaster

      "the lord Jesus controls everything" Jesus the dictator? Jesus the puppeteer? Jesus the l33t? Jesus is a type A personality?

      May 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOLZ

      Jesus The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

      May 22, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
    • thunder89

      hmm...all i got out of this is maybe they should try putting the coke in an apple!?!

      May 22, 2010 at 5:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Deibito

      lolz @ troll feeders. l2internet
      The running gag between people that understand sarcasm, is everyone that doesn't.

      May 22, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • cocaine jones

      Jesus had no idea that man would be able to refine the coca plant into such an addictive drug. Spew your religious propaganda elsewhere please.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • kay

      to Godfearin Christian...you need to learn how to spell JESUS, before you say anything else!!

      May 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. slozomby

    hmmmm and i always thought it was cocoa not cocaine that was the primary ingredient in chocoloate.

    May 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JGMDGO

    "CandyGram for Mongo......... CandyGram for Mongo." "Mongo like candy."

    May 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shade

    And this s one of my favourite chocolates, not any more.

    May 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The TRUTH

    What we, the US, should do is make the crime of drug smuggling punishable up to DEATH!! We should make it retroactive, sentence the Columbian to DEATH with a speedy execution. And go for a speedy execution. This is what China did to a man from another country for smuggling in heroin. The US should make an example of this guy for what will happen if you try to bring this poison into our country. Treat him as humane as possible up until he's executed.

    Why don't you go ahead and smuggle some drugs into China??!!! Huh!! Why don't you go do that; Mr. Chicken-S***!!! That's what I thought - let the US broadcast that perception as China does - and don't give a care....

    Nope... the US will probably just take drug money for court costs to attorney's, etc...and then deport this idiotback to Columbia for him to go back to his country's heart - smuggling cocaine to the US for the BIG profit. This is basically mass-murder/terroristic in terms of death rate as a direct or indirect effect of the this substance...

    Otherwise, just stop outlawing the stuff and not make it a crime for US citizens either. Especially, the young black men in the hood that don't get deported and just slapped in the pin. And that's usually just for under a thousand dollars in dope; crack or cocaine.

    Let terrorist smuggle it in and then make them pay, do JAIL time (not PRISON), for pound and pound, and let them go home. Crazy judicial system should start smacking these cops with penalties for authority abuse. Corruption of the forefront of the judicial system should be punishable by death as well. Corrupt cops, let's execute them through the US courts so they see if they get corrupt, they can legally be murdered per US law.

    Thanks.... Stay-tuned!!! Holla back and let me know what you think about these crazy writings

    May 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheREALtruth

      Or just legalize it. Imagine that... a FREE country!

      May 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • nostradamus

      What kind of language do you speak? Didn't you understand that Mr Lopera born in Colombia but he's American citizen? Now, I have a question for every American reading this. In Colombia, a cocaine kilo is worthy 3,000 dollars. This is all the money that every Colombian druglord receives per kilo.... Transportation fees per kilo between Colombia and the United States are rated $ 1.500, paid for the American drug dealers. It means the total price of a cocaine kilo FOB Miami or New York, is 5,000. But it happens that the same kilo costs $ 30,000 dollars in the American Streets. Question. Who in the hell is keeping on his pocket $25,000 per kilo? Colombians? NOPE. The business is not in Colombia but right down here in the streets of Washington DC, Ft Laurderdale, Hollywood, New York, Miami, L.A., etc? Did you catch my point?

      May 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • tani

      it does not take $1500 fro transport, with all the money they lose the have to charge people in multiples, its all the mexican gangs that have to get paid, they get most of the $$$, and less supply means higher prices

      and to the comment about china laws, if you wanna live in a place like china where internet is blocked and you have no freedoms and get paid miserably, by all means we all can cheep in and buy you a one way ticket

      May 22, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. Vic

    This sucks for all those Americans that were looking forward to having their Imported Nose Candy.
    Too they all of you guys just dont overdose on this crap, so there isnt such a high demand for this crap....and end the drug wars in other countries.

    May 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Damião Carlos

    A person who decide to enter in the world crime or he is killed or arrested, jail or cemitery....http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com people, many thanks for surfing my website blog I hope you like very much and help to spread it overseas...

    May 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nostradamus

    Let's start saying that Mr. Lopera borns in Colombia but he's American citizen. Now, I have a question for every American reading this. In Colombia, a cocaine kilo is worthy 3,000 dollars. This is all the money that every Colombian druglord receives per kilo.... Transportation fees per kilo between Colombia and the United States are rated $ 1.500, paid for the American drug dealers. It means the total price of a cocaine kilo FOB Miami or New York, is 5,000. But it happens that the same kilo costs $ 30,000 dollars (and more) in the American Streets. Question. Who in the hell is keeping on his pocket $25,000 per kilo? Colombians? NOPE. The business is not in Colombia but right down here in the streets of Washington DC, Ft Laurderdale, Hollywood, New York, Miami, L.A., etc? Did you catch my point?

    May 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
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