Small businesses often use storage facilities to house product stock. Business owners who work from home or in small offices don’t have a lot of extra space, and the investment in a storage unit leaves them (at least a little) room to stretch out. But storage units also get a lot of attention in the news for a less respectable business enterprise: drugs. Less-than-bright drug producers and sellers have been known to use mini storage to keep their illicit products secure. Oddly, they also often get caught, either due to reports of strange activity at the storage facilities, or through police investigations. Here are a few storage unit drug busts that boggle the mind.
4. $2 million in crystal meth
In San Antonio, Texas, officials uncovered 28 pounds of crystal meth in a mini storage unit. The Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimated that the meth was worth somewhere between $2-$5 million. The suspects had been pulled over earlier in the month, when police found five ounces of meth and a gun in their truck, which led to the investigation.
3. $1 million in cocaine
As the result of a 15-month-long investigation, federal agents and D.C. police seized $1 million in cocaine, $500,000 in cash and four guns from a storage unit in Hyattsville, Maryland. The cocaine weighed in at 30 kilos, or about 66 pounds. Outside of the unit, investigators seized more money and two luxury vehicles.
2. “Bath Salts”
A truly bizarre story: at a New Market, Md. Storage facility, authorities seized synthetic drugs (designed to mimic the effects of weed and cocaine) that were being sold as bath salts and herbal potpourri. The “bath salts” had fun names like Zombie World and Dark Night Sampler.
1. Storage unit drug lab
Police in Toormina, New South Wales, uncovered an entire drug lab hidden inside a storage unit. The unit contained piping, glassware and tubs that are commonly used to make methamphetamines.
Bonus: Storage facility owner/drug trafficker
If you own the storage facility, why not increase profits by acting as a way station for prescription drugs? Anthony Bellino of Charlotte Harbor, Fla. was arrested for selling Xanax and Vicodin to undercover narcotics detectives at his storage facility (the aptly named Value Self Storage). Whoops.