Sunday, April 5, 2009
Want to Smoke a Rembrandt? What about a vintage Cezanne or perhaps a Renoir?
Apr 5 09 Customs says art was framed with marijuana
It wasn't the beauty of the paintings that caught of the eye of Customs agents, who usually are more focused on Penthouse or Hustler.
It was their drug-sniffing dog turning up his nose at the art that stopped the show.
Federal officials in Arizona say a man was taken into custody after Customs and Border Protection officers found 90 pounds of marijuana hidden in the frames of six large paintings in his vehicle.
Officers selected the man's vehicle for a routine inspection Friday at the border crossing in Douglas, Ariz., and their dog showed an interest in the paintings. "These are sophisticated dogs, some trained in Europe, and they know good art when they see it," said a customs agent. "But they also are trained to sniff out nacotics."
An X-ray revealed the paintings contained marijuana in the frames.
The agency says the paintings were professionally done and the frames were nicely constructed. The paintings were transporting some high quality pot, destined for upscale users.
The man was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He had not been charged.