Criminals Channel Team Rocket by Using ‘Pokemon’ to Smuggle Drugs

in Entertainment, Merchandise

team rocket in pokemon

Credit: Warner Bros.

No one can knock the sheer popularity of Pokemon, and it appears that the card-collecting game has gathered even more steam in recent years. McDonald’s began to release cards in their happy meals, leading to the mayhem of adults attempting to buy up all the cards they possibly could. Even celebrities like YouTuber and wrestler Jake Paul wear a Charizard card on his neck, reportedly worth over $1 million. Now, it appears criminals are cluing into this popularity by using merch to smuggle drugs into the United States.

Ash and Pikachu looking into the distant clouds
Credit: The Pokemon Company

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The point is that the collection capabilities and the popular nature of Pokemon have led to a flurry of purchases for merch, which heavily includes the reintroduction of the original wave of cards that had been released. However, the franchise has exploded and contains over 1,000 characters.

Despite the newer character cards likely fetching reasonable prices, the original 151 Pokemon generally bring in the big bucks. As stated, Jake Paul owns a rare Charizard card that can fetch over $1 million. That is not to mention the rare Pikachu Illustrator card, which was only given 41 copies. This card has been known to be worth nearly $5 million, which is insane.

Now, it appears that the popularity of the cards, and Pokemon in general, is being used to smuggle drugs into the United States.

Criminals Smuggle Drugs in ‘Pokemon’ Merchandise


A report from ABC6 stated that criminals were caught in a global drug ring bust in Massachusetts. According to the Bristol Country District Attorney’s Office, it had been found out that said criminals had allegedly been bringing in drugs by stuffing them into Pokemon art cases.

The United States Postal Service combined forces with New Bedford authorities to stage a sting that included an office going undercover as a delivery person for the mysterious packages. When the package containing the Pokemon art had been delivered, authorities rushed in to arrest the person receiving the package.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that more than four pounds of cocaine had been stuffed into the Pokemon case. The criminals were then arrested and charged with trafficking drugs. So far, there is no report on whether they have pleaded guilty or not guilty.

It is a bit strange that Pokemon would be used in this manner, but the game’s popularity is something that most people had not expected to explode once again. That’s not to say that the TCG (trading card game) has not always remained popular, but everyone attempts to get their hands on cards.

justice smith detective pikachu the flash

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There have even been reports of Japan suffering a string of thefts, as that is where the TCG originated. Some reported robberies saw criminals making away with cards worth over $100,000. It appears that Team Rocket has now become a real-life thing. Where is Detective Pikachu when you need him?

Do you think Pokemon has become too popular? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Entertainment, Merchandise

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