Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained the pair at Los Angeles International Airport after they arrived from Panama on Tuesday, March 15.
One man had ropes he claimed he used on a fishing boat, and the other had 40 backpacks with cords attached.
Agents became suspicious because the ropes and cords were stiff and gave off a chemical odor. The items turned out to be saturated with more than 21 pounds of cocaine.
The men, ages 20 and 21, are U.S. citizens.