Heroin camouflaged as supplement found by officials
A supplement that promised good health for the entire family was hiding something nefarious under its colorful label. Federal agents discovered that heroin was being camouflaged as a supplement from Central America. The product, labeled as Incaparina, claimed to contain a mix of corn, soy, vitamins and minerals.
Federal agents were able to stop 122 pounds of the supplement from being distributed. They noted that 88 pounds was actually heroin. WMUR Manchester reports that officials believe they were able to interfere with this entire shipment. They tracked the package to Diego Paredes who was in Vermont, so they believe this state was the final destination for the drugs. Paredes was arrested and is still in jail.
This is not the first time that the Incaparina label has been used to disguise drugs. In 2009, a man from Rhode Island tried to hide heroin inside 24 Incaparina juice boxes. CNN reports that Emmanuel Rios removed the liquid from the juice boxes and replaced it with a powdery substance. Officials discovered the boxes and arrested Rios who later claimed the powder could be turned into juice with water. He eventually admitted to smuggling the drugs and pleaded guilty.
Officials warn consumers to be careful with foreign supplements and avoid buying items that are not tested or labeled properly. Incaparina is a popular supplement that was originally introduced during the 1950s in Central America and has corn, soy, vitamin A, vitamin B, folic acid, niacin, iron and zinc. It is a high-protein food that was designed to help people avoid protein deficiencies. It does not contain heroin or other drugs in its natural state. However, smugglers seem to be using these supplements to disguise their drugs. They are removing the actual products and replacing them with other powders.