LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Compton man is facing federal charges after trying to smuggle methamphetamine inside potato chips bags at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lemuel Giovani Espinosa, 21, was arrested Wednesday at LAX by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports.

Espinosa was going through security when TSA officers saw something odd in his backpack during the X-ray screening process at the United terminal.

(credit: Transportation Security Administration)

Officers found nearly five pounds of meth concealed inside at least two “T.G.I. Friday’s Potato Skins” bags . . .  cheddar and bacon flavor, officials said.

“Drug traffickers are always trying novel ways to conceal their contraband,” said Marlon V. Miller, deputy special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles.

Espinosa was planning to fly to Narita, Japan with the contraband, where he would be paid $6,000, according to press release.

Homeland Security officials estimate the meth had a street value of more than $200,000 in Japan.

Espinosa was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He is being held without bond pending an Oct. 3 arraignment.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Comments (13)
  1. uhoh says:


  2. John Ashton says:

    U big Dummy!

  3. lawrence says:

    What? We are now tearing down Japan from the inside out like the world is doing to America or is it from within and somehow govt financed.

  4. Dr. Stupid says:

    Someone named Lemuel Giovani Espinosa from Compton flying to Japan?
    That in itself should should alert the TSA there is something wrong.
    A chance to make $6000 (Who paid for the plane ticket?) could now get you life in jail. Only 21 years old. Your life is over with. Bad choice dude.

    1. T says:

      that is sad….
      really bad decision…..

  5. Marty says:

    Lucky he got arrested in America. Could be out in 20 years. Get arrested with that much meth in Japan and you will NEVER get out.

  6. steveO says:

    What’s in the bag goose?

  7. anonymous anon says:

    Someone named Lemuel Giovani Espinosa from Compton flying to Japan?

    I have never seen a Mexican or a Black person in Japan………. and i go to japan very often

    1. Alpha Kenny Juan says:

      I guarantee that you see idiots in Japan — every time you look in your hotel mirror.

      1. anonymous anon says:

        you’ll never go to Japan

  8. Guillermo Cruz says:

    Looks like the cartels are trying to make their mark in Japan also. You have Russian organized crime bringing asian heroin in from the east and methamphetamine and exctasy is enroute from the west. Japan is a very nice country, you really don’t see tagging and trash over there, and I hope they can keep it beautiful. Drugs are such a plague but so much of society, especially youth, unfortunately feels it is a necessity.

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