Here’s a story you don’t often see. Earlier this week, news broke that an Ohio man who had ordered a $1,700 gun safe received an unexpected pre-stored mass upon opening it – 300 pounds of marijuana. According to Reuters, the gun safe was ordered from a company in Utah and manufactured in Nogales, Mexico. The 1,000 pound steel safe was then shipped via truck to the company’s warehouse and ultimately delivered to the customer’s Western Ohio home, where he opened it and discovered its contents; then quickly notified local authorities. Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart told reporters that the delivery took place on June 19th and was delivered by an independent truck driver working for the gun safe company.
Reuters news agency explained Sunday that “the marijuana, tightly wrapped in 10, 28-pound packages, has an estimated street value of $420,000, according to Lenhart. He said the truck’s shipment contained 25 to 30 safes, and that all the others were free of drugs. Lenhart said his office has been working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on the case and had decided not to reveal it publicly to avoid impeding the investigation. Authorities are not releasing the name of the customer for personal safety reasons. The driver who delivered the safe to the customer has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but the driver who delivered the shipment from Mexico to Ohio is missing, according to Lenhart.”
Although the United States Drug Enforcement Agency is said to not be normally interested in the relatively small amount (when compared to most busts the Department of Justice participates in) of marijuana stored within the safe itself, authorities are claiming to be monitoring this case with increased scrutiny due to the method of delivery and potential size of the overall operation.
Sheriff Lenhart stated earlier this week that the search is on for the original delivery driver, telling reporters that “not only are we looking for him, but the bad guys are, too. It’s a pretty decent way of smuggling. My guess is that it’s not the first time it’s happened.” Police have stated that this particular method of drug smuggling is much more likely to pass the scrutiny of drug-sniffing canines as well. Lenhart added, “It’s quite effective if you think about it: wrapped airtight to withstand high temperatures. Drug-sniffing dogs probably couldn’t smell it. Someplace between Mexico and the warehouse in Northern Ohio, the drugs got mixed up and put in the wrong safe and got delivered to the wrong person.”
Gun Safes And Gun Safety
This story has made news mainly because it is a rarity in today’s technological society in which safes can often be secured with biometrics. Before ordering a safe customers may now become more aware of where the actual structure is being originally manufactured along with the firm’s reputation and delivery methods. In general, the fewer middlemen who are involved in the process of delivery between the point of manufacturing and final destination, the less chance there is of a similar situation occurring.
It has not become clear yet whether the customer will eventually receive his confiscated safe from authorities or if the company in question has already decided to offer him a full refund or replacement product.
According to a separate report, the Ohio man originally ordered the safe to store his 24 rifles and approximately a dozen shotguns. The safe in question was roughly six feet in height and 1,000 pounds in weight. It remains to be seen if the revelations will result in an added amount of attention being paid to gun safe shipments on behalf of authorities.
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