Clowns Busted For Coke

More than 500 pounds of cocaine were found inside the tour bus of a Latin Grammy-nominated group of clowns in Hidalgo, Texas, October 1st.

Customs inspectors found 200 bricks of cocaine wrapped in plastic in a secret compartment, according to The Monitor of McAllen. Customs and Border Protection estimated the street value at $35 million while Immigration and Customs enforcement estimated it at $5.6 million, the paper said.

The bus driver was taken into custody and cleared of involvement, but the group of singing clowns is still being questioned. No arrests have been made.

The group – Los Payasonicos, from Monterrey, Mexico, – reportedly once helped produce a children’s show near Reynosa, Mexico, and the celebration’s sponsor was noted drug trafficker Osiel Cardenas. Los Payasonicos has a kids show that airs three times a week on Mexican television.

A booking agent for the band told the paper the group sold the bus in question six months ago.

The bust was made along the U.S.-Mexico border at 3:15 a.m. At 3:50 a.m., a second tour bus arrived at the port of entry and between 600 to 700 pounds of cocaine were seized from it, the Monitor said. Both buses had murals painted on the sides, and the second bus carried musical group Arnulfo Rey y As.

Yet, law enforcement officials said the busts were unrelated. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Felix Garza said the timing of the second bus was “significant” but did not elaborate, according to the paper.