ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska man found with $400,000 in illegal drugs hidden in spoiled goat intestines at an airport has been arrested.
Cenen Placencia of Kodiak was arrested Wednesday at Anchorage's international airport, authorities said.
Investigators with Alaska State Troopers searched a large fish box the 71-year-old man had checked as luggage, according to an affidavit filed with the charges. Placencia gave his consent to search, according to the affidavit signed by a special agent with the Coast Guard Investigative Service.
Inside the box was loosely wrapped frozen meat, with multiple small pieces of meat frozen together, according to the affidavit, which says Placencia consented to the meat being thawed for further investigation.
Investigators smelled the odor of rotting meat as it thawed, and a police dog detected the presence of drugs, the affidavit says. Before the meat finished thawing, Placencia withdrew his consent for a search, prompting authorities to obtain a search warrant, the court document says.
Resuming the search, investigators found packages wrapped in plastic that contained about 740 grams of heroin and 389 grams of methamphetamine.
Placencia had been heading back to Kodiak when he was arrested, initially booking a morning flight and later rebooking for a late afternoon flight.
Before that flight departed, however, Placencia agreed to be interviewed. He told investigators he packed the bag himself and denied knowing about the drugs, according to the affidavit. Placencia told investigators he bought the goat intestines for $140 from a California rancher for his own consumption, the affidavit says.
Placencia taken into custody at the Anchorage jail, troopers said. A message left late Friday afternoon at the Federal Public Defender Agency was not immediately returned.
Placencia was arraigned Friday on a charge of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Troopers said authorities began investigating Placencia in February. In March, authorities served search warrants at Placencia's Kodiak home, seizing about 247 grams of heroin and 13 grams of crystal methamphetamine, according to troopers.
The affidavit says nearly $2,280 in suspected drug proceeds also was seized at the home in March, the affidavit says.
Those drugs are not included in the current charges, said assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Sherman. The investigation continues, she said.