DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

Feds Seize Cocaine Jesus

Man busted after dog sniffs drug in statue at Texas border crossing

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Feds Seize Cocaine Jesus

MAY 29--Meet Cocaine Jesus.

Federal agents last week arrested a Mexican national for allegedly paying a woman to smuggle into the U.S. a statue that was made of a dried cocaine paste. The carefully painted religious icon, pictured here, weighed about six pounds and would have had a street value of about $30,000. The statue was confiscated at a Texas border crossing after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to it during an inspection of a vehicle driven by a Mexican woman.

The woman later told agents that she was paid $80 by a man who wanted the statue delivered to him at a Laredo bus station. The man, Bernardino Garcia-Cordova, was arrested when the apparently unwitting female mule identified him for investigators, according to a felony cocaine distribution complaint filed May 27 in U.S. District Court in Laredo.

When questioned by agents, the 61-year-old Garcia-Cordova, who is a legal permanent U.S. resident, initially acknowledged that Cocaine Jesus was his, but then claimed he was only helping to smuggle the statue on the behalf of a man known only by the nickname 'La Arana,' or The Spider. Cocaine Jesus, he claimed, was supposed to be delivered to The Spider in Dallas. (3 pages)