A Waterloo man is jailed after police broke up a marijuana smuggling scheme that involved putting the weed inside teddy bears. Black Hawk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 53-year-old Douglas Duane Hoffman on Monday. He’s been charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana while in possession of a firearm, money laundering and violation of the drug tax stamp act.
According to court records, the pot-stuffed bears were addressed to a deceased Waterloo resident at a vacant home. People involved in the plot would pick up the packages after they were delivered by FedEx. Authorities became aware of the scheme when a 29-pound FedEx package was sent from Tempe, Arizona, to a vacant house located across the street from Hoffman’s home in rural Waterloo in January of last year. Officers with the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force searched the package and found marijuana hidden under layers of plastic wrap and petroleum jelly inside a teddy bear.
The package was closed and sent to the Sage Road address. When no one answered the door, deputies say a woman came from Hoffman’s house and said the man named on the package wasn’t home. She accepted the box and said she would give it to him. Task Force agents then searched Hoffman’s home and found a note with the FedEx tracking number, marijuana, a scale and the remnants of other dismembered bears.
They also discovered a loaded .22-caliber handgun and a night vision device in a safe. During the investigation, agents learned that at least five other marijuana shipments were sent to Hoffman’s home.
TAG: Hoffman is being held on $175,000 bond. He is already is awaiting trial on federal methamphetamine charges.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls