ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - When Albuquerque police raided a drug operation linked to a Mexican cartel officers found the illegal cash crop protected by a low-tech security system costing the traffickers chicken feed.
Police Lt. Greg Brachle said it was a huge operation that included 174 pounds of pot stashed inside holes cut inside the bed of a white pickup truck.
“Usually we see things like that in crawl spaces, attic, safes, locked up in a pretty secure area,” he said.
Homeland Security Investigations said the shipment came from Palomas, Mexico, just across the border from Columbus, N.M. From there the Region 7 Task Force from southern New Mexico followed the illegal goods to the Duke City.
The task force called investigators in Albuquerque to alert them of the stash. The Albuquerque Police Department followed it onto a South Valley property and made the bust.
But once drug investigators stepped onto the property, they reported security was anything but high-tech.
“What was unique is they were stored in an outbuilding in paper bags or plastic containers with really no security except chickens and two pit bulls that lived there,” Brachle said.
Two chicken coops lined the driveway. Police said the drugs were stashed in a shed behind it. There was no way to make it back there without a flock of chattering chickens alarming the homeowner.
“There were probably 30 animals in there,” Brachle said. “They made quite a bit of noise.”
APD alleged agents caught Omar Cervantes-Chavez, 33, unloading the illegal stash and arrested him.
But don't think this was a bird-brained idea. Investigators only fouled it up because they were onto it from the beginning.
“Aside from having to provide food and water, it’s a free alarm system,” Brachle said. “So it's probably a little better than an electronic one because batteries never die and power never gets shut off.”
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