When most people think about comic books, they think about stories. Superhero stories, thought-provoking stories, stories about the supernatural, science fiction and more. What they usually don't think about are drugs and that's probably what an international drug operation was thinking when they decided to use comic books to smuggle meth into Australia.
As reported by Australia's ABC News detectives raided nine properties on Australia's Gold Coast recently, seizing 3 kilograms of meth, along with cannabis and other items. The group reportedly smuggled $1 million worth of the drugs from the United States to Australia using mail and courier services -- specifically by hiding the drugs in the pages of comic books. Ten people were charged including a man they consider to be the ringleader of the group and according to Detective Inspector Brendan Smith, the unnamed man had flown to the US numerous times since October 2018 to organize the entire operation.
"We've identified the supplier over there and Homeland Security are working with local police in America to take the law enforcement action over there," Smith said. "We think it is coming from southern California, and as you'll appreciate, that is very close to the international borders of Mexico and such."
The raid and arrests of the ten individuals come after a six-month investigation. Nine separate properties were raided. Smith went on to explain that information about the ring came from various people linked to those arrested, but that those arrested did not all know one another. He also explained that the raids and seizure of the drugs smuggled in comic books will have a major impact on meth sales in Queensland, Australia.
"This operation has dismantled a significant criminal network and removed over 30,000 off Queensland streets," Smith said.
The raid and seizure also has had an unexpected impact on the comics community, in a sense. Australian comics writer Tom Taylor took to Twitter to share the story as one of the books involved in the raid is an Injustice story he wrote.
"Today on, 'Ways I didn't expect to make the news,'" Taylor wrote. "Amusingly, and fittingly, that's an Injustice story I wrote... about a prison break. [James Tynion IV], [Bruno Redondo], and [Freddie Williams II] also featured."
What do you think about meth being smuggled via comic books? Let us know in the comments below.