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Wisconsin Woman Receives A Very Unexpected Christmas Present

We have previously posted that illegal drugs are a serious matter. Wisconsin residents who are caught buying, selling, or possessing drugs are subject to stiff drug charges. But even though our blog tries to focus on the serious criminal defense issues which affect defendants' lives, we sometimes find lighter stories which are too interesting to avoid sharing. This is one such story.

A Green Bay woman received a Christmas present that turned out to be much more than she asked for. When she unwrapped her presents she found that her sons had purchased a refurbished vacuum cleaner for her. This was a used vacuum which had been shipped to and from Juarez, Mexico, for reconditioning.

It is unclear what her initial response to the gift was, but she was certainly surprised after opening the box. Inside the dust bag of the vacuum cleaner the woman found 2.2 pounds of cocaine and 2 pounds of crystal methamphetamine.

She immediately turned the drugs over to the police. Thankfully, she is not suspected of being connected with the drugs in any way - except, of course, by being the owner of a very expensive vacuum cleaner. Police estimate the street value of the drugs at about $280,000.

Because the vacuum cleaner was shipped to and from a city in Mexico, it seems clear that the vacuum cleaner was a way to smuggle the drugs across the border. But where were they headed? Police also may need to find out who the intended recipient was.

The police have seized the drugs and will continue to investigate the matter. The Green Bay woman's role in the case is now over, but she will always have a story to tell and she has likely learned a valuable lesson: you never know the history of a refurbished appliance. Sometimes it's just easier to buy a new one.

Source:, "Wisconsin woman received vacuum stuffed full of drugs," Brian Gillie, 15 January 2011

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