Couple's Amazon Order Comes With A 65-Pound Marijuana Surprise

Couple's Amazon Order Comes With A 65-Pound Marijuana Surprise

By Paul Gaita 10/24/17

An Orlando couple got a green surprise with their Amazon shipment. 

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Police in Orlando, Florida are investigating why a local couple received 65 pounds of marijuana along with their order of storage boxes from Amazon.com.

According to the couple, the online retail giant has not given an adequate explanation as to why they received the marijuana, which was shipped to them via UPS from a warehouse in Massachusetts. However, Amazon has issued a statement in which they are working with law enforcement on the case, which is currently an active investigation.

The couple—a man and his fiancée, who asked to remain anonymous—said that they are regular Amazon customers, and placed an order with the site for four 27-gallon plastic storage containers. However, they knew that something was amiss as soon as the package arrived. "They were extremely heavy, heavier than you would think from ordering four empty bins," said the woman.

Upon opening the bins, they immediately detected the strong odor of marijuana, and found boxes inside the bins that contained the 65 pounds of marijuana, wrapped in green plastic.

The couple contacted the authorities, who seized the drugs and launched an investigation. The package, which weighed 93.5 pounds in all, was tracked back to a facility in Massachusetts, which had used UPS to ship the order through Amazon's Warehouse Deals program. According to Amazon.com's website, Warehouse Deals provides "deep discounts on open-box and used products. We inspect and certify all items for sale on Amazon Warehouse Deals based on physical and functional condition."

The couple said that the presence of the drugs in their home left them shaken and spurred them to leave for several days in fear of someone breaking in to retrieve the marijuana. They also suggested that Amazon.com would not directly address the problem of the mystery shipment; despite more than a month of e-mail exchanges with the retailer, they were never able to speak to a supervisor, and finally received a gift card for $150 along with a message that read, "I am unable to do anything else at this time."

Amazon.com responded to inquiries from Miami-area television news stations about the incident by stating that their customer service team had worked with the customers to address their concerns, and would assist Miami police in investigating the case. The couple, however, said they still want a reason, as well as an apology for receiving the alarming shipment. 

The couple's tribulations echo a similar case in which a South Carolina woman, expecting her order of a yoga mat, instead received 20,000 oxycodone pills worth approximately $400,000 in street value.

Though incidents such as these seem out of the ordinary, a report from NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. noted that the United States Post Office (USPS) has been dealing with an increase in drug shipments using their service for several years. Federal auditors reported the seizure of almost 35,000 pounds of marijuana from USPS parcels in 2015 alone.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites. 

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