GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – Glens Falls Police Department recently had a big find -- 27 separate bags of crack cocaine -- all hidden inside what they call a "stash can."
At first glance, Detective Sgt. Seth French says a can of Arizona Iced Tea seemed normal, but something about it just didn't feel right. On the outside the logo seemed real, the can even had some weight to it, but something still seemed off.
"It looked real, but once I picked it up the weight didn't feel correct and it didn't sound like it had liquid in it," said Sgt. French.
He found the can while searching through items belonging to Thomas Gaines who was arrested on narcotics charges by Glens Falls police. While French took inventory of his belongings, he noticed the can.
"I started playing with it, and then twisted the top, the top came off," he explained.
Police Chief William Valenza of the Glens Falls Police Department said, "When they opened the can up they found a baggy containing 27 separate bags of crack cocaine."
Valenza explained it was all inside an ordinary can which happened to have a twist off top with a hidden plastic compartment for storage. They're called "stash cans" and are sold as security items to stash jewelry and cash.
"They are very common," said Lt. Steve Stockdale. "We are seeing an increase of methods of concealment and delivery for illegal drugs."
But the cans are not illegal to buy or sell.
"I've had training on it but that's actually the first one I've come across in my career," said French.
Valenza said, "They know what they're selling. It's unfortunate they're choosing to sell these things."
County-wide the sheriff's office has also found many of these cans hiding in plain sight.
Lt. Stockdale said, "Picked up a half a dozen of those devices over the years."
"Unfortunately, people who break the law can be very imaginative," said Valenza.
Authorities say, with their narcotics training, they are still one step ahead of where criminals are stashing illegal drugs.
Investigators say Gaines will now face charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell among other charges.
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