New and unexpected items haves been added to the usual contraband smuggled into South Florida: Snow peas. Squash. Yams. Snap beans.
There was a time when crime stories involving federal agents and a Homestead warehouse crammed with illegal goods would tell of bales of marijuana or kilos of cocaine or barrels of Ecstasy. But now we have Guatemalan snow peas. Three company officials of the Homestead food importer and distributor Fresh King were indicted earlier this month on charges the company was trying to sneak food possibly contaminated with dangerous pesticides past federal inspectors.
It seemed a weird new avocation in South Florida, a region infamous in the 1980s as a smugglers paradise. But given the fast rising price of food, the world wide shortages, the specter of food riots in third world countries, maybe the Fresh King caper presages a new and growing criminal enterprise.
Psst. Hey buddy. You wanna cop some hot papayas?
Download the indictment: Download fresh_king_indictment.pdf