You may think that a drug cartel is all Uzi-wielding thugs and quietly menacing chemists. But there are a lot of different skill sets needed to bring your favorite narcotics from farm to nose. Particularly guys who can think of clever yet inconspicuous tricks to sneak these illicit products through customs without anyone looking twice. Unfortunately, none of them are put to work in the shipping department.
During a routine customs inspection, the Guardia di Finanza (Italy's money cops) noticed a shady package being shipped from Colombia through Malpensa Airport in Milan. Their suspicions were rewarded when they discovered that this shipment of Colombia's number two export, coffee, was being used to smuggle in its number one, cocaine, with over five hundred individual coffee beans each having been stuffed with a few grams of marching powder.
Guardia di Finanza
What made the Guardie suspect that these dodgy beans belonged to a master criminal? Because it said so right on the package. The shipment was addressed to a tobacco shop in Florence under the name of Santino D'Antonio. John Wick fans will remember him as the mobster villain from John Wick: Chapter 2: Something Wicked This Way Comes. It seemed that someone in the Colombian cartel figured there's not a cop in the world who would catch a reference from one of the biggest action crime franchises of the century.
With the intercepted beans as bait, police were also able to catch the Colombians' contact, a 50-year-old Italian man -- who's yet confirmed or denied to be a fictitious character. This sting operation was called Caffe Scorretto (Indecent Coffee), a play on caffe correcto, the Italian practice of "correcting" your bland morning shot of espresso by spiking it with high proof alcohol.
Guardia di Finanza
But it's not the old Italian you should feel sorry for. Our heart goes out to the Colombian cartel's in-house bean guy. That poor smuggler must've spent days splitting, stuffing, and taping shut two kilos of coffee beans with nothing but a jeweler's loupe, a scalpel, and a level of patience you wouldn't expect from someone in the cocaine business. All that clever effort, only to be undone because the bro in charge of the printing the UPS label thought he would pull a Kaiser Soze for future bragging rights.
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Top Image: Guardia di Finanza / Lionsgate