Mules are badly maligned by being associated with drug smuggling – but what about asses?

'Arrivals' 'Drugs Mule'

The Rotorua Daily Post today reported that cops  who stopped an alleged drug mule near Taupo claim to have  found $500,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden in his truck bound for Christchurch.

A 54-year-old bloke was pulled over by police on State Highway 1 because of the manner of his driving, according to the report.

His Chevrolet Silverado truck apparently was searched and officers say they found 0.5kg of P concealed in four separate containers hidden under linings of the truck deck.

Police reckon the drugs were picked up in Auckland and the bloke they arrested was taking them to Christchurch.

He appeared in the dock at Christchurch District Court today.

Judge Jane McMeeken remanded him in custody without plea to one charge of possession of a Class A drug, namely methamphetamine, until November 17.

Well done, the cops.

But Alf’s interest was in the language used in the headline:

Alleged drug mule arrested in Taupo.

Dunno when the word “mule” was first applied to these people.

But Wikipedia describes a mule as someone who smuggles something across a border (as opposed to sending by mail, etc.) for a smuggling organisation.

The organizers employ mules to reduce the risk of getting caught themselves. Methods of smuggling include hiding the goods in a vehicle, luggage or clothes, strapping them to one’s body, or using the body as a container. Sometimes the goods are hidden in the bag or vehicle of an innocent person, who does not know about this, for the purpose of retrieving the goods elsewhere.

Alf is much more inclined to regard these mules as asses.

Take the case of Peter Cavanagh, a drug mule who was part of a gang that raked in almost $50,000 every month peddling heroin and cocaine. According to this report, he was put behind bars for three years after police officials found photographs of himself kissing banknotes on his mobile phone.

Then there was the  bloke from Birmingham who had swallowed 61 pellets of cocaine to smuggle it into Britain from Antigua. He sparked an emergency landing after one of the packs burst inside his stomach and he lost consciousness.

A Nigerian drug mule was not so lucky. He died in a Spanish airport after cocaine bags inside his body split open – because airport staff refused to touch him fearing he had Ebola.

And don’t try to tell Alf that getting top marks at school attests to cleverness.

Jessica Zeisig graduated with honours from her Canadian high school and gained an entrance scholarship to the University of Ottawa arts programme.

It wasn’t until Zeisig quit university after a year to “have some fun” and ran up a $2,000 credit card debt that a co-worker at the ByWard Market fast-food restaurant where she worked told her about a chance to visit the Caribbean and earn some money.

It was with that promise of $1,000 cash and a free trip to St. Lucia that Zeisig’s life took a decidedly different turn.

Last week, the 22-year-old who grew up in the tiny community of Lunenburg, Ont., was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for importing nearly two kilograms of cocaine into Toronto’s Pearson Airport on April 19, 2011.

These and other cases suggest to Alf that these people are asses.

Moreover, those who cart drugs can do the gene pool a serious disfavour by spawning children, whereas mules – the ones in the animal world – can’t breed.

Mind you, on second thoughts. even the most fecund and/or stupid of asses deserves not to be maligned by being associated with drug smugglers.

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