Sacramento, CA — Area Goodwill treasure hunters Darlene and Jameson Delray found a little more than a partially working Keurig coffee maker and a few, slightly used designer jeans over the weekend. The pair, who often entertain themselves by visiting area thrift stores, found almost 2 kilograms (~4.5lbs) of premium Columbian-grade cocaine stashed in an old JansSport book backpack.
“Jamie and I go out every Saturday looking for stuff,” said Ms. Delray, 34, of nearby Citrus Heights. “I just like to look, but Jamie loves to sell stuff on eBay. Anyhow, he found the backpack and thought he could get five bucks for it. He was yelling at me that it seemed solid, and I just told him it was well made.”
The Delrays arrived at the Sacramento Goodwill Bins, a division of the popular thrift store chain that wheels out large, unorganized ‘bins’ of clothing, appliances, gadgets, and in this case, almost 5 lbs of pure cocaine.
“Jamie was carrying around the backpack for about an hour, when he started complaining that it was getting heavy and he wanted to go,” continued Darlene. “So I grabbed a few books and we went to checkout.”
It Went Undetected Until Checkout
When the pair arrived at the weighing station, the clerk seem concerned about the bulkiness of the backpack.
“Normally we don’t care what’s inside a bag or suitcase or whatever,” said Goodwill employee Bonnie Rio who was handling the Delray’s pile of goods. “But I decided to open up the backpack which is when I found the large, double-ziploked bag of white powder. I immediately called the manager, and he called the police.”
Ms. Rio told the couple not to worry, that “this happens more than you might think,” and that “they’re not going to get in any trouble.” According to Ms. Rio, two weeks ago a 14-year-old found 20 grams of cannabis weed stuffed inside of a dirty Angry Birds doll.
“The police were real nice about all of it,” said a relieved Ms. Delray. They just took the bags and the backpack, which was a bummer for Jamie, but he was just glad we didn’t get in trouble.
The Citrus Heights and Sacramento Police narcotics units say the cocaine “more than likely” originated in Columbia. Given the threats of increased border security measures, the drug cartels are seeking “new ways to smuggle drugs into the country” and using charities such as Goodwill has been their best method so far.