True Crime

Dope Smugglers Use Apes As Decoys

Detective Story Magazine | June 17, 1922 | Vol. XLIX, No. 6

Humans aren't the only primates involved in crime!

Investigators employed by the United States on the Texas border have discovered that a new wrinkle is being used by dope smugglers in order to carry on their traffic in drugs.

The discovery was made at Galveston, Texas, where a ship which put in from a foreign port was observed to have on its deck two very playful baboons. Playing with the baboons were two sailors who also figure in the plot.

When the ship tied up at the wharf, the baboons leaped from the deck and hid behind some boxes on the wharf, followed by the two sailors, presumably to search for the baboons. Shortly after the two sailors returned, together with their baboons, but not until they had loaded their blouses with cocaine and morphine, which they had found behind the boxes on the wharf where it had been left for them.

After the ship had been searched for possible stores of drugs, the sailors got out their cocaine and morphine and peddled it to the addicts. According to the story told by Howard J. Brooks, narcotic agent, the sailors have been working the scheme for months.

Brooks said he remembered the occurrence of the “playful baboons” when the ship last made port at Galveston.