Published August 18, 2013
Call it the mystery of the pot-stuffed gun safe.
Nearly two months after an Ohio man opened his Mexican-made, mail-order gun safe to discover about 300 pounds of pot crammed inside, investigators are still stumped over the drugs’ origins, as well as the fate of the still-missing U.S. citizen who trucked the product across the border.
WDTN 2 in Ohio reports a Shelby County resident phoned police June 19 to say he’d discovered what turned out to be 285 pounds of shrink-wrapped cannabis -- 10 bales of it -- enclosed within a $1,700 mail-order gun safe he’d bought online.
The unnamed resident had reportedly hoped to house his collection of firearms, including 24 long rifles and 12 shotguns within the 1,000-pound, 6-foot-tall safe. Authorities believe he is not involved in the smuggling plot.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 47 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart told ABC News.
”It’s quite effective if you think about it: wrapped airtight to withstand high temperatures. Drug-sniffing dogs probably couldn’t smell it.”
The vault was reportedly manufactured by Champion Safe Co. of Nogales, Mexico, and then trucked across the border to local merchant Sportsman’s Den. Upon receipt, Sportsman’s Den shipped the safe to the soon-to-be shocked buyer.
Lenhart reportedly said the Conway, Inc. truck driver who ferried the drug-stuffed vault across the border is now missing – and investigators have no leads on either his whereabouts or from where the drugs originated.
“Not only are we looking for him,” Lenhart told ABC News, “but the bad guys are, too.”
WDTN 2 reports that the 285 pounds of pot has an estimated street value of $420,000. Neither Champion Safe, Co., nor Conway Inc., would return calls ABC News made for comment.