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US charges 24 with smuggling cocaine hidden in toys out of Puerto Rico airport to mainland

Authorities in Puerto Rico say they have broken up a drug ring that smuggled cocaine to the mainland in children's toys.

U.S. Attorney Emilia Rodriguez Velez tells reporters that the toy "Lite Brite" was a favorite of the organization. Rodriguez says the toy is easy to open and can hold a kilogram of cocaine. She says the ring also used DVD players.

Rodriguez said Tuesday that 24 members of the organization have been indicted on drug charges.

Members of the group are suspected of shipping cocaine in their checked luggage from Puerto Rico to several mainland cities, mostly in central Florida.

Puerto Rico has become a major transit point for drugs in recent years as smugglers seek to avoid increased security and turmoil along the U.S.-Mexico border.