A 71-year-old Kodiak man was arrested at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport this week with more than 11,000 doses of heroin and methamphetamine hidden in spoiled goat meat, authorities said.
An airport interdiction team on Wednesday arrested Cenen Placencia on federal charges stemming from an investigation that began this year, according to an Alaska State Troopers report posted online Thursday.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Kodiak Police Department and troopers in February began investigating Placencia as a source of narcotics in Kodiak.
Search warrants served at his home in March resulted in the seizure of 2,470 doses of heroin, 130 doses of methamphetamine and $2,279 in “drug proceeds,” according to a sworn affidavit filed with federal charges by a Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent. The agencies continued their investigation.
Placencia was not arrested at the time, a troopers spokesman said. He declined to provide additional information, citing the ongoing investigation.
In July, the investigation team learned that Placencia previously used a lamb carcass to transfer drugs from Anchorage to Kodiak, the document says.
The arrest this week occurred as Placencia was getting ready to board a morning Ravn Air flight to Kodiak, the affidavit says. He gave law enforcement his consent to search his checked luggage: a large fish box duct-taped shut and tied with a rope, weighing 47 pounds.
A “large mass of miscellaneous meat was observed inside,” loosely wrapped in heavy plastic, agent Adam Carron wrote in the affidavit. Small pieces of meat were frozen together in a single large mass and pieces of skin were visible, leading investigators to believe it wasn’t normally packaged.
Placencia gave them consent to thaw the meat. As it warmed, it began to give off “an odor consistent with spoiled meat,” and a drug-sniffing dog alerted authorities to the presence of narcotics.
Placencia revoked his consent at that point and booked a later flight, according to the affidavit. Investigators got a search warrant.
“Investigators opened the contents of the frozen meat and located 10 slightly larger than golf ball sized balls of duct tape inside the intestine of what Investigators believed to be a goat," Carron wrote. “During further inspection, it was determined that inside of the duct tape wrapped balls were plastic bags containing what appeared to be heroin and methamphetamine.”
Contacted in the terminal, Placencia told investigators he didn’t know anything about the drugs and planned to eat the intestines of the goat, which he bought from a rancher in California for $140, the affidavit says.
He was arrested. The box contained 7,400 doses of heroin and almost 3,900 doses of meth, troopers say.
Combined, the drugs seized in March and this month would have an estimated street value of $400,000 in Kodiak, authorities estimate.
Placencia was remanded to the Anchorage jail on federal drug trafficking charges, troopers said. He was arraigned Friday on a charge of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.