Brick of Cocaine Found Inside High School Cookbook

Officials recently seized a brick of cocaine that was found hidden inside a cut-out high school cookbook in Tennessee.

According to a press release from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the incident happened on February 17, when customs agents assigned to an express consignment hub in Memphis, Tennessee encountered a package that had paperwork indicating it was a high school cookbook.

The seizure announced on Thursday comes as CBP officers continue to intercept illicit narcotics that are sent through the mail and hidden inside an array of different items.

Inside the package, CBP officers discovered a cookbook titled, The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago & the Caribbean.

Upon further inspection of the package, CBP officers discovered that "many of the 500 recipes and 32 colored photographs missing." The pages were cut out and CBP officers found a package of cocaine hidden inside. According to CBP, the package contained 147.6 grams of cocaine.

The cocaine was sent from Trinidad and Tobago and destined to an address in New York City's Little Caribbean neighborhood, CBP said.

"How was the recipient intending to cook his traditional callaloo, with all the pages cut up and replaced with cocaine," Memphis Port Director Michael Neipert said in the press release. "Smugglers continue to conceal narcotics and other contraband in myriad ways, which my officers seize over and over every shift."

In a photo posted to Twitter by CBP's Gulf Coast sector, the brick of cocaine can be seen hidden within the cut-out pages of the cookbook.

Earlier this month, CBP officers made a similar seizure, intercepting over 100 grams of ketamine that was hidden inside a package of porridge. CBP officers at the express consignment facility in Memphis discovered a package that was described as organic rice and organic banana multi-grain porridge.

"Sealed aluminum bags within each box contained a total of 271 grams of ketamine in white powder form. The shipment was sent from London, England to an apartment in New York's Hudson Valley region," CBP said in a press release on Thursday.

Following the seizure of the ketamine, Neipert asked, "I know it's organic, but why would you need two boxes of baby food sent across the Atlantic Ocean to your apartment?"

"My officers use their experience and expertise to target shipments while considering a variety of elements. They see all methods of smuggling and can quickly and efficiently spot shipments requiring a closer look," Neipert added.

According to data provided to Newsweek, CBP officers across the nation have seized over 113,000 pounds of drugs that were sent in the mail and express consignment environment from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021.

Brick of cocaine
A brick of cocaine was recently found hidden inside the cut-out pages of a cookbook. Here, a brick of cocaine with the initials VMW engraved over is displayed on May 11, 2017 in Livorno, Italy. Laura Lezza/Getty