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Cocaine-saturated ropes, cords seized at LAX

Authorities at Los Angeles International Airport have detained a pair of American passengers accused of smuggling in cocaine hidden in ropes and cords on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. (U.S. Customs & Border Protection)

March 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two men accused of trying to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. by hiding the drugs in ropes and cords are in custody.

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.