January 26, 2006

You can't make up this sort of thing: Truquini's fake leg a drug stash

Original: Arturo Barahona and Ana Briceño, Trome, 1/4/06.

Truquini hides drug stash in fake leg.

He thought he was pretty clever. The prosthetic device he used on his right leg didn't impede Héctor Luján Bellido (32), alias Truquini (rhymes with Houdini), from driving his motorized bicycle-taxi to sell drugs in different beer and pool halls in the Villa María del Triunfo district of Lima.

Officers from José Galvez police station, under the command of Peruvian National Police Major Teófilo Mariño, captured him in the fifth block of Quechuas Avenue, and discovered a stash of drugs hidden inside the prosthetic leg, which is how he had previously managed to evade the authorities.

Also seized from Truquíni was a pistol and the vehicle, with plate number 5305, which he bought a year ago.

"Boss, don't take me in. I wasn't selling drugs," the detainee stated cynically, even shedding tears in an attempt to gain sympathy and be set free.

Police indicated that Luján Bellido was known as a hardened criminal in Villa María del Triunfo, and that if his clients owed him money, he ordered his minions to beat them.

The police also stated, "If his sales were low, he would get angry and jump up and down on his one good leg. During the first few days of surveillance, we never suspected he had hidden the drugs inside the prosthetic leg. We thought his cronies had the merchandise."

In total, police recovered 110 individual bundles of basic cocaine paste, which he sold for 50 cents each, including free delivery. "His territory was Villa María del Triunfo, and he kept in contact with his clients by cell phone," added an agent.

I enjoy translating from Spanish to English.

And I enjoy reading the police pages: the grit, the crime, the raw stuff.

Peruvian newspapers put great headlines on their crime stories. And all the hoods have nicknames. You really can't make this stuff up.


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