How A Bottle Of Whiskey Helped Bring Down A Drug Smuggler

They say that the devil is in the details, and it's often details that can make or break criminal cases. Take the famous case of notorious gangster Al Capone for example. Capone was famous in Chicago for controlling a criminal empire responsible for bootlegging, racketeering, sex trafficking, gambling, narcotics trafficking, and more (via FBI). He was untouchable until the FBI was able to prosecute him on charges of tax evasion rather than the countless other crimes he had committed.

It was a similar missed accounting detail that recently delivered a heroin smuggler into the hands of British law enforcement at Immingham port. According to the BBC, Lithuanian national and Irish resident Edmundas Bruzas was stopped by border guards on March 25 for an inspection of his truck as he entered the U.K. Officials found 30 kilograms of heroin valued at $3.5 million hidden inside the cab of the truck, per Food & Wine. Bruzas initially denied knowledge of the drugs and claimed that he was not present while his cargo of strawberries was being loaded. His alibi was ruined by a single overlooked detail.

Smuggler's receipt was found next to illegal cargo

The BBC reports that when Edmundas Bruzas left Rotterdam on a ferry, he declared 200 cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey to customs officials. According to Food & Wine, while being questioned by the British National Crime Agency (NCA) after the discovery of the heroin, Bruzas confirmed that he had purchased a bottle of Grant's Triple Wood whisky. NCA agents then revealed that they had found the receipt for that bottle of whisky with his credit card information in a bag located next to the heroin. After this detail was revealed, Bruzas refused to answer any further questions.

"It was impossible for Bruzas not to know his cab had heroin in it. And when he realized we'd found his credit card receipt next to the drugs, he had no option but to admit his guilt," said NCA operations manager Carl Barrass. 

Bruzas admitted to smuggling the drugs in court on Monday and was given a jail sentence of 12 years and six months for his non-whisky-related crimes.