Vacations are meant to be relaxing but often end up being a little stressful. Whether you’re on a cruise hoping there’s enough entertainment to keep your kids occupied or dreading an international flight, it’s not always a glamorous process.
Two young travelers got to see the dark side of international travel after attempting to smuggle more than six pounds of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to the United States. Rafael Francisco Bautista Perdomo, 21 years old, confessed that he agreed to smuggle the drugs to the United States for $10,000.
How? He sewed the contraband into his c-shaped neck pillow and called it a day. That didn’t work out so well when he landed in Newark, New Jersey and had to go through customs. Perdomo and his accomplice Brenda Mancebo, age 20, were quickly apprehended, whereupon they feigned ignorance and claimed not to know one another. Everyone’s seen a drug smuggling movie once or twice, right? Just play dumb, that should work, right?
It didn’t work. Their lie was swiftly revealed, digging their legal graves even deeper.
“Law enforcement conducted a lawful search of Mancebo’s phone, where law enforcement discovered multiple pictures of Perdomo that appeared to have been taken by Perdomo himself,” said a Homeland Security Agent.
Selfies. Betrayed by selfies. Oh, and six pounds of cocaine. They’ve both been arrested and are being held without bail until sentencing. Both pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy, the penalties for which are severe. There’s a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and the potential for up to 40 years. That’s quite the risk to take for a powder packed neck pillow.
Held without bail until their December sentencing, they’re likely hoping for the minimum sentence. However it happens, we’re willing to bet they’re reconsidering just how clever coke filled neck pillows really were for the promise of $10,000.
The next time you’re thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic, or anywhere in the world, just do that and don’t attempt to make your mark in international drug trafficking. It doesn’t bode well for anyone involved.